The Google app for Pixel Launcher has a new feature, warning users about severe weather via its "At a Glance" widget. That's based on a recent report from 9to5Google, detailing the widget change.
Summarily, the company has added the ability to show weather alerts in place of calendar events for the home screen notes. But for weather alerts, while it still appears alongside the usual temperature and conditions, it takes a more prominent position as the header. The weather conditions and temperature appear below the alert, alongside the title of the organization or agency that issued the warning. Google also added a triangular-shaped warning icon to catch users' attention.
Date information, conversely, disappears when there's a weather alert in effect. So users won't see those details anymore. But it also keeps users well-apprised of when the alert starts and ends. Especially since the app places the warning there up until the alert is ended by the agency that issued it.
Severe weather warnings could just be for the Pixel Launcher and not the widget
Now, there's no readily apparent way for this feature to be turned off on non-Pixel-branded handsets or hardware. The widget itself, with or without severe weather warnings, is directly associated with the Google app. Or at least, that's where Google put it in the overall list of widgets. And, on Google Pixel devices, users can turn off "Forecasts for severe weather" in "Preferences" by long-pressing the At a Glance widget.
The widget customization option doesn't necessarily appear on non-Pixel devices, so it may not appear on those at all. If that's the case, this is going to be a Pixel Launcher exclusive.
When was this added?
Another noteworthy uncertainty is exactly when this feature was added. It wasn't detailed by Google's changelogs in recent feature drops or security updates. But it could easily have appeared alongside the apparently-related Safety app and features for Pixel devices. If that's the case, it likely landed this month.