Customers with the Google Feed or Google Pixel Launcher will be familiar with the Google Now pane, activated by a single swipe from the home page. And whilst Google Now is now technically known as the Google Feed, the look and feel of the screen has not materially changed much since 2015, the time of the last redesign.
A transparent pane would look different, visually interesting and might even be designed to encourage people to consider the service known as the Google Feed these days. It seems to be happening.
One of the many reasons why the Google Now pane was renamed to the Google Feed is because of the Google Assistant. Essentially, Google Now has been retired with Google’s focus going towards the Google Assistant. The Google Feed still provides the same anticipatory information as we’ve seen from Google Now but has taken more of a background seat. Unfortunately, for many Google and Android users around the world, the Google Assistant is still not available in their language despite the U.S. launch. It’s important for these customers that the Google Feed is not impacted too much if they are regular users of the technology.
From what we can tell, the Google Now screen visually contains the same information and the only change is that Google is now using the same wallpaper image behind the information, but with a darkening filter applied. As such, there is no change to the information presented on the screen, but there is a difference to how things work. Several Reddit users are reporting that they are now unable to swipe cards off the screen and that another tap is necessary in order to access additional cards. Combining this with a busy wallpaper and relatively dim icons, the new-look of Google Feed is something of a step backwards.
We’ve no word on the scale of this experimentation and the number of Google Feed customers impacted by the change, so we cannot say if this is a test deployment or the start of a wider scale roll out.