Google is slated to debut the new version of Android – that'd be Android 7.0 Nougat – in just a few weeks. In fact, a rumor that surfaced over the weekend stated that the update would be rolling out "next month" (which means August, as that was posted in July). It looks like Google may also debut a new launcher with Android 7.0 Nougat. According to Android Police, who have gotten their hands on a number of animated GIFs showing the new launcher and some of its features. It is definitely a big change from what is currently available in the fifth developer preview, currently available.
The biggest change here is the removal of the app drawer icon. The actual app drawer is indeed still there and well. The app drawer surfaces by swiping up from the bottom of the home screen. Gestures and swipes seem to be a pretty big part of this update to the launcher. The Google search bar is also gone. Instead, there is a floating button on the left side of the home screen. Just tap on that and you'll be able to search like normal.
The report also shows that Google may be heavily integrating Google Assistant into the launcher – which, why wouldn't they? In June, there was a report out that Google was rolling out an update to Google Now on Tap which brought in a slew of new buttons, which included the ability to create a reminder, set an alarm and so much more. That never rolled out, but they do believe that will be part of the new Google Now Launcher.
It appears that there are plenty of changes coming to the Google Now Launcher. However, it's important that we take all of these changes with a grain of salt for now. With Android 7.0 Nougat due to be released as a stable build in the next few weeks or even days, it shouldn't be long before we find for sure that this is what is changing in the launcher. There could be even more changes than what we see here in these GIFs, which you can see in the gallery below.