It has been nearly two weeks since the first beta of v7.26 began rolling out with several hints about what we can look forward to, but a minor update just started rolling out that appears to contain something else of some interest. It seems like something called "Collections" is coming to Google that looks mighty similar to the Saved pages feature, but with a few improvements already emerging.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.

Collections

The saved pages feature can be pretty useful for offline storage, research, or even just Pinterest-style bookmarking. However, the implementation of saved pages isn't entirely native on devices, but rather a web interface. With the addition of new text and other resources, it looks like the saved pages may be getting an upgrade to something called Collections.

<string name="collections_app_name">Collections</string>
<string name="collections_empty_state_title">Your saved items appear here</string>
<string name="collections_empty_state_body">Look for the bookmark across Google to save what you like and access from any signed-in device.</string>
<string name="collections_empty_state_button">Start your search</string>

As the description explains, Collections are where your saved items appear. You'll add them using the bookmark icon, just as you do with the current saved pages feature.

Automatic lists

The similarities continue when you get to the automatic lists, which are created as you save items. The lists can be for favorites or starred pages, and a list of places you want to go to. The lists are further broken down by type, like recipes, videos, images, and so on.

<string name="collections_list_name_favorite">Favorite %s</string>
<string name="collections_list_name_starred">Starred %s</string>
<string name="collections_list_name_want_to_go">Want to go</string>

<string name="collections_item_type_default">items</string>
<string name="collections_item_type_images">images</string>
<string name="collections_item_type_jobs">jobs</string>
<string name="collections_item_type_places">places</string>
<string name="collections_item_type_recipes">recipes</string>
<string name="collections_item_type_videos">videos</string>
<string name="collections_item_type_webpages">pages</string>

There are also placeholder images for several of these collection types.

Collection names, cover images, and descriptions

The details start to split from the current saved pages feature when we get into the details of each Collection. Current lists can be given a title and have a cover image that's usually selected from the last-added item. (Note: automatic lists cannot be renamed.)

The Collections implementation still allows custom names and a cover image, but you'll be able to select your own image. In addition, there will also be a new field for entering a description.

Quote
<string name="collections_edit_display_name">Collection name</string>
<string name="collections_edit_display_name_hint">Display name</string>
<string name="collections_dialog_create_collection_dialog_title">New collection name</string>
<string name="collections_dialog_create_collection_display_name_hint">Collection name</string>

<string name="collections_edit_cover">Collection Cover</string>
<string name="collections_cover_picker_title">Select collection cover</string>
<string name="collections_dialog_select_cover_image_title">Select cover image</string>

<string name="collections_edit_description">Description</string>
<string name="collections_edit_description_hint">Add a description to your collection</string>

The rest

For now, everything else looks fairly normal. There will be commands to create and delete collections, or edit the contents. The contents of a collection can be moved from one to another or removed entirely. Collections will show the last item that was added.

Quote
<string name="collections_edit_title">Edit Collection</string>
<string name="collections_detail_edit">Edit Collection</string>
<string name="collections_detail_edit_not_editable">Not editable</string>

<string name="collections_dialog_move_item_move_to">Move to</string>
<string name="collections_dialog_move_item_collection_size">%1$d</string>

<string name="collections_dialog_remove">Remove</string>
<string name="collections_dialog_remove_collection_dialog_title">Remove Collection</string>
<string name="collections_dialog_remove_collection_dialog_message">All items in this collection will be removed. Are you sure you want to remove this collection?</string>

<string name="collections_detail_delete">Delete Collection</string>
<string name="collections_detail_delete_not_deletable">Not deletable</string>

<string name="collections_new_collection_button">+ New Collection</string>

<string name="collections_list_last_added_items">Last added items</string>
<string name="collections_list_last_added_items_collection">Added to %s</string>
<string name="collections_detail_loading_items">Loading items…</string>

<string name="collections_overflow_menu_desc">More Options</string>
<string name="collections_toast_contents_up_to_date">Up to date</string>
<string name="collections_toast_no_network_found">No network found</string>
<string name="collections_undo">Undo</string>
<string name="collections_back_button_desc">Back</string>
<string name="collections_close_button_desc">Close</string>
<string name="collections_detail_select">Select</string>
<string name="collections_dialog_cancel">Cancel</string>
<string name="collections_done_button">Done</string>

<plurals name="collections_detail_items_moved">
<item>%d items moved</item>
<item>%d item moved</item>
</plurals>
<plurals name="collections_detail_items_removed">
<item>%d items removed</item>
<item>%d item removed</item>
</plurals>
<plurals name="collections_detail_selected_items">
<item>%d selected</item>
<item>%d selected</item>
</plurals>
<plurals name="collections_dialog_remove_items_dialog_message">
<item>Are you sure you want to remove the %d selected items?</item>
<item>Are you sure you want to remove the %d selected item?</item>
</plurals>
<plurals name="collections_dialog_remove_items_dialog_title">
<item>Remove %d Items</item>
<item>Remove %d Item</item>
</plurals>
<plurals name="collections_list_collections_count">
<item>%d collections</item>
<item>%d collection</item>
</plurals>
<plurals name="collections_shared_items_count">
<item>%d items</item>
<item>%d item</item>
</plurals>

/menu/collections_detail_overflow_menu.xml
<menu xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto" xmlns:aapt="http://schemas.android.com/aapt">
<item android:id="@+id/collections_detail_select_menu_item" android:title="@string/collections_detail_select"/>
<item android:id="@+id/collections_detail_edit_menu_item" android:title="@string/collections_detail_edit"/>
<item android:id="@+id/collections_detail_delete_menu_item" android:title="@string/collections_detail_delete"/>
</menu>

New layouts
/layout/collection_list_last_added.xml
/layout/collections_action_bar.xml
/layout/collections_component_list_item_detailed.xml
/layout/collections_component_list_item_simple.xml
/layout/collections_cover_picker_item.xml
/layout/collections_cover_picker.xml
/layout/collections_detail_item_layout.xml
/layout/collections_detail_main.xml
/layout/collections_dialog_create_collection.xml
/layout/collections_dialog_move_items.xml
/layout/collections_dialog_remove_items.xml
/layout/collections_edit_main.xml
/layout/collections_empty_state.xml
/layout/collections_list_header.xml
/layout/collections_list_main.xml
/layout/collections_snackbar_main.xml

One thing does seem to be missing from Collections is the ability to add notes to individual items in the list. The current note field could definitely be improved, but it would be unfortunate if it were lost. Since Collections don't appear to have launched yet, I'm not too worried yet that it'll be lost.

It's possible Collections are meant to be just a native implementation of a feature previously delivered over a progressive web UI, but hopefully there's a bit more to it than that. Currently, there aren't any signs of some popularly requested features like sharing a full list from Collections or searching the contents of saved pages, neither of which were possible with saved pages. We may see some more additions before launch, or Google may be planning to begin by replacing saved pages, then proceed to adding new features in subsequent updates. Regardless, with the size of the additions, it's safe to say something is in the works.

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Google
Google
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free