The staff of Android Police dissected the Pixel Launcher APK and brought to light some of the key features of this new user interface. But before moving on to this new Google launcher, it's worth remembering that, just as we saw the search giant building its own tablet, the Pixel C, we won't have the famous Pixel smartphone partnership with manufacturers that we had with the line. Nexus
Thus, I do not expect to see Google respecting the Android stock on Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, but taking the opportunity to consolidate what has long been tried, ie create your own skin, with emphasis on its biggest product: the search.
If you haven't realized it yet, the icon format on Android is not unified as on iOS. So, we usually have round, square cones in the shape of the application logo and so on. However, in Pixel Launcher everything will be unified in a circular design, much like the shape of the floating steel buttons (FAB), as we can see in the image below:
As we can see in the image above, some cones just received a white wrap around the current app logo, such as Play Books, Music and Movies. Already Google Maps retained the visual features of its square version, but the cut became circular.
In addition, according to the staff of the Android Police, Some apps will work as a kind of widget, as they could display information on the symbol itself, such as the Calendar app, which would now show the date of each day. To do so, the icon comes with 31 digits within the circle.
But be aware, this is only possible because Pixel Launcher and the Calendar app work together. The lanyard has a technology identified as DynamicIconProvider, which allows you to specifically access the Google Calendar app and request the resources needed to mount the final image, displaying the current date. Therefore, third party applications that do not contain such a feature may not do the same. Incidentally, if you have a Mac, it's pretty much the same feature we have in Apple's Calendar software for computers.
As we have not yet had the official announcement of the new Pixel devices, it is too early to say that such design novelties are unique to the new series, as pure Android lacks this kind of visual drive. Incidentally, we have already written here on the site about the lack of native icon support for Google Now Launcher and I hope the Android developer team won't make this mistake again.
Shortcuts to functions and features
Speaking of icons with smart functions, in Pixel Launcher the icons will offer shortcuts to system functions and features. This function had already been introduced in the previous version of Android N for developers, however, Google has removed this feature from the new final version of the operating system.
The purpose of this feature, identified as Launcher Shortcuts, allow apps to show information, quick actions and shortcuts right from the icon, without having to click and wait for the app to load. So, taking Google Drive as an example from the layout set up by the Android Police folks, we have a chance to quickly upload a document to Drive by sliding a finger over the app icon.
I've been using this feature for some time with Action Launcher 3 Plus, and although it's still quite limited, I can see a lot of potential here, especially for Android users who don't have a device powered by Fource Touch (or 3D Touch). Apple).
These shortcuts will be dynamically created by an app and then users will be able to pin them home screen permanently. In addition, developers will be able to offer an automatic backup of shortcuts used by users in specific apps, so we don't have to worry about losing our settings if the program is removed in any way.
Search bar change
Last but not least, we have the removal of Google's search bar for a much better designed icon. I've been using the Pixel Launcher APK on the Galaxy S7 Edge, and as we can see below, the UI looks much better than with the current Google fixed search bar:
However, apparently, the change is only visual, as the search function remains the same. What really will be different is our interaction with voice search, which requires a second click on the microphone.
The app drawer
The Pixel Launcher app drawer also changes a lot from the one we know. Instead of the center button at the bottom of the screen, now just slide your finger across the screen from bottom to top to access the app drawer.
The very intuitive and functional process as an alternative to not removing the Android app drawer. At a time when rumors about Android Nougat indicated that the search giant might choose to remove this option from the pure version of the platform, just as LG had done with the LG G5, for example, we did a poll here on the site. For 46% of the 2,570 participants, this would not be a good idea.
I've been using this option for the last four weeks on two smartphones and I need to say that this was a great launcher optimization, as for those who have a device with a big screen, they can launch the app drawer without having to be from a button. specifies much better centralized.
Pixel Launcher Justifies New Pixel Smartphones
Taking into account that some of these features were tested by Google during the beta of Android 7.0 Nougat – but were left out of the official August release – of two: either such features will reach Android Nougat in version 7.1, or will be exclusive. of the Pixel line.
If only Google's new smartphones come with these features, pure Android will be even lighter and simpler, making manufacturers receive a much easier Google kit to adapt to their skins and, as a result, we will have the system update perhaps simplified by cutting Big G processes in half. On the other hand, to count on these features, you would either have to buy a Pixel smartphone, or rely on third party apps to have experience with some of these features, such as Nova Launcher, for example.
For now, seeing these features developed for Google applications as we are seeing, and a UI focused on the search giant's services, Pixel Launcher looks a lot like a Google skin, as we have on other manufacturers' smartphones like Samsung and Google. Sony. Therefore, the Pixel Launcher which would better justify the launch of the new Pixel smartphones. What worries me is that in the future having an experience with pure Android will no longer be possible due to Nexus extinction.
But that answer will be given next Tuesday, October 4th!
And a, do you think these functions will really be unique to Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL?
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