Google Discover is a key part of the Pixel Launcher, even if it isn't everyone's cup of tea. While some people still miss Google Now years after its replacement appeared, many users rely on it to access a curated list of recommended news stories and topics. With Android 12 bringing a whole new look to your phone, Discover just wouldn't feel complete without an extra splash of color to match your device.
Once upon a time, the screen to the left of the homescreen on Google's Nexus phones and tablets was called Google Now, and it was a genuinely useful feed full of contextual information about things like your commute, upcoming calendar appointments, package deliveries, and so on. This eventually went away as the screen, now Google Discover, was turned into a news feed. There's now a way to get it back, but it's unfortunately limited to those using Xposed on a rooted device.
Google is no stranger to pushing its popular Discover feed across its various platforms and products. You can even find it in Chrome's new tab page on Android these days, with its curated news feed based on your interests. Discover was first introduced in Chrome 54 and has received iterative updates to make it more prominent. It isn't finished, though, as it looks to make Discover even more visible in Chrome while in turn sacrificing usability.
Google is focusing on the visual experience of Android 12. The latest fruit of that endeavor is a bit of fresh paint on the Discover feed. Google Doodles, the little shifting variations on the Google logo, have appeared at the top of the feed for a while now. But with the latest version of Google search installed on Android 12, Doodles now theme the background of the feed itself. Neat.
Google started rolling out a redesigned, Google TV-inspired facelift for the Android TV homescreen earlier this year, and now, that new interface is finally finding its way to Sony's Android TV sets. According to 9to5Google, the manufacturer is sending out emails to owners, telling them that their "Sony Android TV just got a whole lot better."
Hashtags are prevalent on many social media platforms these days. With regards to Google's own services, Google+ had hashtag support before it was killed off, and YouTube has had them for nearly three years at this point. Discover is the latest Google service to experiment with hashtags, though it does seem a little unnecessary.
Google is always tweaking its Discover feed ever so slightly to fit your taste even better, but sometimes, the company is also willing to make big changes. It looks like it's currently testing a brand-new look for Discover that does away with the signature card interface, and it's adding a share button while it's at it.
A new heart icon has been spotted in Google Discover (née Feed), replacing the previous button that triggered the familiar more/less slider for tuning its content to better match your tastes. This isn't just a visual change in iconography, either, as tapping the new heart button doesn't open any menu, apparently and simply indicating to Google that you liked a given piece of content. So far, the change seems to be in limited testing.