Google could renovate the home screen on its 2016 Nexus devices – CNET

The next batch of Nexus devices may rejigger the home screen.

Photo by CNET

Google's upcoming Nexus mobile devices may sport some renovations to the home screen.

The 2016 models reportedly will feature a redesigned home screen with changes to the app drawer and other key features, blog site Android Police said on Monday, citing "multiple reliable sources."

Specifically, Google will do away with the app launcher button at the bottom of the screen, which opens the app drawer showing your installed software, according to screenshots of the changes. Instead, you'll be able to open the app drawer by swiping up at the bottom of the screen or tapping on a small arrow that will appear above the app dock.

To close the drawer, you can either swipe down on the screen or tap the back button. Removing the app launcher button frees up space for another icon in the app dock.

A well-designed home screen should give you quick and easy access to key features so you don't have to swipe from one screen to another. The home screen is the first thing you see when you fire up your mobile device, so a better home screen matters.

The search widget at the top of the new home screen has been replaced by a calendar widget that apparently can't be removed. A tab with the letter G resides on the top left side of the screen. Tapping on the G tab opens the search field, at least on the version of the home screen that the sources showed Android Police.

The company may be phasing out the traditional search field at the top because it wants people to rely more on Google Assistant and Google Now on Tap to produce useful information.

Based on the tips and screenshots from the sources, Android Police said it's highly confident these reports are accurate. However, the site said the design alterations could change before the new Nexus phones roll out and that the new launcher may or may not be exclusive to Nexus devices. Also, the design could be tweaked further if Google Assistant and Now On Tap are updated. There's been no word yet on a launch date for the new phones.

A spokeswoman for Google said the company doesn't comment on rumors or speculation.

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