Google testing another UI change, adds hints and search shortcuts

Google has been reportedly testing quite a few UI changes recently and although we’re yet to see any of those changes officially arrive to any of the apps, barring the Google Messenger app. Now the Google app isn’t one of those apps from Google that undergo a lot of change. The Google Now cards have looked almost the same ever since the inception, and apart from the occasional header images and color changes not much has changed.

Yet, there’s now a report of some UI changes with Google’s search app on android.

Above are two screenshots from two different users – one of them,  +Michael Ruocco – who are seeing these shortcuts and reported this to Android Police. The icons don’t do anything beside launch a search — and thus trigger smart cards and results — for their respective purposes. They’re basically glorified search shortcuts, or maybe big hints for those who don’t know what exactly you can search for on Google Now.

Google had previously tried something similar with circular icons, but this time the icons are much more neat, more varied in terms of the different options to help you discover what you can ask Google, more colorful too and mix well with the rest of the UI. Below are screenshots of the previous testing :

Both these changer were and are server-side and it’s quite possible there are more people who are seeing these new hints or shortcuts below the search app. I am enrolled in the Google app beta but I haven’t seen anything of the sort nor has anyone at Android Police, yet.

Has your Google search app been subjected to any such UI changes? Are you one of the chosen ones? Let me know in the comments below.

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