Google’s New Nexus Phones Could Deliver Big Changes

The Nexus phones hitting the market later this year won't be the first to come preloaded with Android 7.0 Nougat, but Google's latest devices are expected to deliver several new features, including a redesigned launcher.

The new Google phones set to roll out in September or October are likely to feature a launcher that eliminates the app drawer icon in favor of a "frosted glass"-like drawer that appears with a tap or swipe of an arrow near the bottom of the screen, according to an Android Police report published yesterday. The Google Search widget is expected to be replaced with a Google icon pull-tab in the upper-left section of the phones' homescreens.

Codenamed Marlin and Sailfish, Google's new phones, which may or may not actually carry the Nexus name, are reportedly being manufactured by HTC, although Hauwei's name has also come up. However, neither phone will be the first to run the soon-to-arrive Android Nougat operating system. That distinction goes to the LG V20, announced yesterday and set for release in the third quarter.

Hints of Google Assistant?

Details about Google's new look for the launcher and search features are based on "very substantial visual evidence" and unnamed sources, according to Android Police. However, the publication noted that the final interface design could still change dramatically, as "Google is notorious for changing or axing software designs and features up until the final days and weeks before a product is scheduled to launch."

The appearance of the new search pull-tab could herald the pending arrival of Google Assistant on the company's next phones, Android Police added.

Unveiled at Google's I/O developer conference in May, Google Assistant is an intelligent software persona designed to provide voice-based answers and other types of help. Assistant is expected to appear with the release of Google Home,...

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