Google is gearing up for tomorrow's Pixel event and one of the first hints of everything we've got coming our way is a redesign of the Google Home app that seems to be rolling with the new version 18.104.22.168. We're seeing it on all of our devices so this doesn't seem to be a sever-side test.
First, upon launching the app, you'll notice a new animation of squares and circles and triangles in Google's traditional yellow, green, red, and blue colors, interspersed with a little grey. It looks nice and you'll notice that the app now has two tabs on the bottom: Discover and Browse.
Starting with the first tab, Discover is where you'll see hints of things you can do with your Assistant and Google Home plus more apps to download and try. A nice "Welcome Home" message greats you on top.
And since Discover is the first thing you see in the Google Home app, it will also be where you find search results related to your activity, new Google Home and Chromecast built-in speakers to set up, and your Now Playing music and video cards.
Now Playing card
Speaking of the Now Playing card, it has also been changed. Both the card and the volume controls pop-up look different now. Here are before (left) and after (right) screenshots of the card.
And now here are screenshots of the volume controls with before (left) and after (right). The horizontal bar has been dumped in favor of a circular line.
Plus, I'm not sure if it's new or not, but there is also a skipping bar and a 30-sec rewind button below it. I've never cast Netflix before, so these could be limited to Netflix playback and could have been there in the old layout. If they're new however, I hope they show up for music too, not just video. I can't test any of that now because I'm at work and my Google Homes are, well, home, so let us know in the comments if these are indeed new and if you see them for music as well.
Either way, the skipping bar and rewind make a lot of sense if you want to control playback of a music/video and you don't have the original casting app on your device. Previously, the Home app wasn't of any help for that.
Once you switch to the Browse tab, you'll see recommendations of popular things to watch or listen to based on your installed apps. A floating search icon is on the bottom, along with other floating buttons for Music, Movies, and TV shows.
The rest of the app appears unchanged, including the side menu and the settings. If you want to try out the new layout, you can grab Google Home 22.214.171.124 from the Play Store or directly download it from APK Mirror.
- +Tom Wellington,
- Kristian Jones