Google Discover is one of the search giant's most popular products in recent memory. Even Samsung finally relented and put it on the homescreens of some of its wildly successful Galaxy smartphones — no mean real estate achievement, even for Google. As such, UI tests on Discover are almost as numerous as the dozens of content cards it displays, with constant tests, refreshes, and tweaks coming and going.
Samsung has been on a roll with updates. Shortly after rolling out Android 11-based One UI 3.0 to its recent flagships, it's now pushing the One UI 3.1 to a few of them. This update brings a slew of the S21's features to these devices, such as Enhanced Single Take mode, Private Share, and video call effects, but it's missing out on at least one: Google Discover on the homescreen.
Samsung is going to be announcing the Galaxy S21 soon, and along with that, its latest One UI 3.1 system software. One UI 3.1 will be a slight iteration to what is currently rolling out to the Galaxy S20 and Note 20 series right now. Changes are set to include new camera features like Director's View, new display features like Eye Comfort Shield, and the arrival of the Google Discover feed on One UI Home.
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.
While most other manufacturers have integrated the Google Discover feed into their home screen launchers, OnePlus has largely pushed back against it. Instead, the left-most page was reserved for the 'OnePlus Shelf,' a customizable panel with quick shortcuts and various widgets. However, OnePlus is saying goodbye to the Shelf with the OP8 series.
I find myself scrolling through Google Discover to pass some time more often than I'd like to admit, but thanks to Google's vast collection of my personal data, it's not surprising there's usually something interesting for me to be found. One thing has always annoyed me, though: You have to resort to blocking certain news sources because of misleading or sensationalist headlines, even when some of their articles aren't as bad as others. Google finally found an elegant solution for this problem, as it's now possible to report misleading, sensationalist, violent, and hateful or abusive content in the feed.
The lightly tweaked version of Android that OnePlus phones use, called OxygenOS, has some pretty big advantages going for it. There are even things about it that we'd like to see make their way to stock Android. But there's always room for improvement, and we've got a (slightly larger) wishlist of changes that we think could make it even better.
Chrome's new tab page is always undergoing design changes and improvements. One day you see shortcuts to downloads and bookmarks there, the next they're gone. The latest change involves article recommendations, which are now showing up for many users as larger thumbnails with text snippets.