Several days ago, it was brought to our attention that Google's Search app finally allowed completely touchless reminders, whereby a user could set a reminder from start to finish without touching the device. Previously, reminders required a touch confirmation at the end of the process. Now, the "voice of Google" simply asks if the user would like the reminder to be set. Saying "yes" will complete the interaction.

It seems this isn't the only server-side switch Google is pulling, though. For a while now, we've been getting tips that the Search app has been returning app results in an interface a little different from the old vertical list view. Check out these screenshots for a before-and-after comparison.

wm_Screenshot_2014-05-28-11-03-36 wm_Screenshot_2014-05-28-14-00-22

This interface is better for a few reasons. First, it's important to understand that Google Search returns results or interactions with varying levels of confidence. How "confident" Google is that it's giving you the right thing is manifested in how the information is presented. The new interface is considerably higher confidence, returning only the top four apps, in order of relevance. Previously, Search would return a similarly ordered but much longer list of possible results.

The other important thing to note is that this UI is vastly more efficient in how it uses space. Previously, the long list of app results (one per row) would push any other results (like browser bookmarks) off the screen, whereas containing only four icons in one row frees up that space for more information.

Search's new app result layout also makes apps more clearly clickable. Before, icons were small, and separated into inexplicably grey boxes on the end of a full-row line dedicated only to the app name. Now, the icons take center stage. They're bigger, and the app names sit below them in smaller text.

Of course the above points are just my opinion. How do you feel about the new UI? Vote in the poll, and drop a comment if the poll options don't fully explicate your feelings.

Do you like the new app results UI in Google Search?

View Results

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Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Raymond Berger

    I don't have the new interface yet but that would be really handy. I search for apps that I have hidden (because I rarely use them) and this would make that just a tad easier.

    • matt

      In this boat. It looks nice, but I still get my results the old way. Nexus 5 in the USA.

  • http://minnecapture.smugmug.com/ beans28

    I'm just diggin' the lack of the black top and bottom bars!

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      You can thank Google Now Launcher for that. The screen on the left is from Artem, and he uses Nova.

      • http://minnecapture.smugmug.com/ beans28

        Oh really? Man....I spend all my time on Nova Launcher.

      • Brady

        Nova Settings > Look and feel > Show Notification Bar (check) & Transparent Notification Bar (check)

        in other words, not unique to GNL. just sayin'.

        • Ishaan Rajiv

          Yet that won't work on google now, would it?

          • Stripes

            It wouldn't, that's true. But I also don't think it works on GEL if you use the classic (and better, IMHO) way to acces Google Now (swipe up from the home onscreen button).

          • Brady


    • Kevin

      It's a shame it's only available on the Google Home launcher.

      • Sandra James


        ☗☗☗ �☗☗☗ ☗☗☗ ☗☗�☗ ☗☗☗

    • abobobilly

      Translucent Nav and Notification bars? Hell Yeah.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    I've been seeing that for weeks, but it's intermittent. For instance, today it used the old one, instead. Can't quite tell the difference between circumstances.

  • Alexei Watson

    I really need to use that interface to jump to apps/book/music quickly..

    i never seem to as it's mostly under the keyboard, so not so obvious.

  • Matthew Merrick

    i honestly forget i can actually search for apps....

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I have too since I installed AppDialer https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=name.pilgr.appdialer

      Love this app.

      • https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=iWizard Bikram Agarwal

        Me too. I would've even bought the pro version if it wasn't $4 though. It's a nice app but it's not mountain valley good.

        • Brady

          *mountain view*

        • sssgadget

          It's a great app. I bought it when it was $2.95

      • abobobilly

        I was about to post that. Its just way too convenient and fasterto use "AppDialer" to search for apps.

    • Francois Roy

      Must be a US-only feature; my search results doesnt look like this at all;


      • abobobilly

        I don't think so. I am in Pakistan and this feature has been working from quite some time on my Nexus 7. Funny thing is, i didn't even notice (like really notice) this transition until I saw this article.

      • KarimMunir

        It works everywhere. Just start typing but don't search.

        • Francois Roy

          Ok!.. Got it! Thanks!

  • Naga Sridhar

    A poll in the middle of the week? Thats a change AP!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Not a standalone poll really, more of a side poll supporting the post.

  • Guest

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  • Segroukin

    Yet to get this UI

  • eric

    With the new software update it should allow always listening mode plus nexus 5 dialer with caller id

  • GraveUypo

    oh... damn i glanced over the title and thought they were actually improving the google play search results. because when i search for something more obscure i usually don't find it using the search thing. have to browser through my purchases or use a browser.

  • Stylus_XL

    About a month ago I noticed this tweak suddenly appeared on my phone for a couple of weeks and then vanished again. I was a little irritated when the vertical app search results list returned because the horizontal method was so much more efficient.

  • iboalali

    Yesterday I got a Play Music card, asking me to check out the new song for the artist I googled earlier.
    Is this new?
    ps.: here where I live, we have no Play Music, Movies, Books or anything except Apps

  • KERR

    A bit off topic, I wish google didn't try and guess whole words when I've only typed the first letter!

  • Roh_Mish

    Got that yesterday for one search. But then returned to list view. Still the list view for me.until it reaches me, there would be one more update removing app search.

  • BrianCherry

    I wish Android had a universal search like Windows 8.1 where it searches everything eg. Web, files, Apps, etc. It would also be nice if it could search inside apps like the Play Store and YouTube without opening the app first.

    • Animalismus

      It used to do that before Apple happened.

  • azsxdc

    I had this a few days back for a day after which it reverted and I never got it back. I use the search bar for app searches exclusively and the web results just waste space.

  • Matthew Skalecki

    The new interface is dramatically superior, because four apps will show above the keyboard. The obnoxious limitation of the old system was having to hide the keyboard to see more than one app (Nexus 5).

  • xxTheGoDxx

    Another thing I noticed is that if I search for someone and open a Wikipedia link from Now my browser (Dolphin) loads the desktop site (as it should do). Before Google Now just forwarded the m.wikipedia url.