Transparent Google Now Design And More Features In The Works

Google recently started experimenting with a new design of its popular Google Now app, with the Alphabet-owned company testing a transparent aesthetic and a number of new elements, as reported by one Reddit user that was affected by the change earlier this week and took the screenshots of the new build that can be seen beneath this writing. The relatively transparent background is only present in a new pane that's accessible by swiping to the left of the app's homescreen page and seemingly doesn't affect any other interface. It's currently unclear whether Google is eventually planning to update other parts of its mobile tool with this aesthetic, with that possibility likely depending on the firm's reasoning behind the change. If Google's developers were aiming to eliminate some empty space from the app and provide users with a more personal experience by designing its interface as an overlay displayed over their wallpapers, the rest of the service may fully adopt this new look at some point in the future.

That potential change is still somewhat away, with this experimental user interface being only confirmed by a single user of Google Now so far that preferred not to disclose their location, so it's unclear where exactly is Google testing the new interface. The app's algorithms may have also been changed as part of the experiment given how the source claims that a number of stories suggested to them by Google Now including the ones related to Uber and Pokemon GO have nothing to do with their interests and habits. The change was noted on an unrooted Google Pixel XL running Android 7.1.2, software build N2G47O with the May Security Update and was only evident following a reboot of the device. The Google app was of the stable variety, version 7.3, indicating that the Mountain View, California-based firm started testing the feature through a server-side switch and all of the necessary code was already present in one of the previously distributed APKs.

Other minor changes featured in this experimental version of Google Now include a tabbed "Feed" design and a "Search on Google" shortcut, as well as an "Upcoming" interface located just next to it. The chances of this design ever going live on a global level are currently unclear but more details on the matter may be available in the coming weeks.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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