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.
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 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.