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New Google Maps video shows Google intends to remove the app drawer (update: not really)

Posted: , by Luis D.

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New Google Maps video shows Google intends to remove the app drawer (update: not really)
Update: Google reached out to another website that reported the story. It confirmed that the Google Maps video represents an inaccurate version of Android's UI and it shouldn't be taken as preview of what’s to come.

According to the most recent intel, the next major Android version will discard the long-standing app drawer in favor of placing all apps and folders on the homescreen, iOS style. While Android Marshmallow still has an app drawer, some Android phone makers like Meizu, Xiaomi, Samsung and LG have either dealt away with the app drawer completely, or gave users a choice of disabling it. There's clearly an anti app drawer movement in the operating system's inner circles, and by the looks of it, Google is ready to take the lead.

In the newest Google Maps video, the placeholder phone running the navigation app on a stock Android build doesn't have an app drawer. Users are already firing questions at the Big G, but those at the heart of Android seem to prefer keeping the truth a surprise for now. Still, at least two separate sources that spoke with fellow mobile tech website Android Authority say the app drawer does not appear on early, pre-release versions of Android 7.0. And if the video does depict Google's vision for the near future of Maps and Android, said vision spells doom for the app drawer.

Of course, this doesn't mean the app drawer will be dead and gone once Android N arrives on shore. Google will probably let the user choose whether they like their experience drawer-less or not, which will probably do little to fend off some users' jealousy that Android is picking up one too many clues from iOS's design. We'll learn soon enough, for we expect to see Android N's developer preview in action during the annual Google I/O developer conference. This year, the event will run from May 18th through May 20th at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View. The final Android N release will probably roll out sometime in October.

source: Google Maps (Twitter) via Reddit

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posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:26 40

1. Acdc1a (Posts: 353; Member since: 21 Jan 2016)

This would be a mistake akin to removing the start bar from Windows.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:38 5

6. neela_akaash (Posts: 1228; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

For me, that's a great idea... what's the point of having same icon at two different places...

I am completely in support for Google in this initiative...

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:45 10

10. macawmatt (Posts: 61; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)

The same icon in two different places?

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:56 4

17. TerryTerius (unregistered)

I assume he means on the home screen and in the app drawer.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 08:07 38

20. hexa-core. (banned) (Posts: 58; Member since: 28 Feb 2016)

For me, the Home screen is meant for quick acces to daily-driver apps, the rest goes into the app drawer.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 13:15

66. neela_akaash (Posts: 1228; Member since: 05 Aug 2014)

You need to have a look at MIUI..

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 16:45 1

76. NoToFanboys (Posts: 2806; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)

It would be nice if the icon disappeared from the app drawer once it is already in the homescreen, I don't like the same icon on two places

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 08:31 3

28. curtdragon (Posts: 22; Member since: 13 Nov 2014)

He apparently doesn't have Windows. Or a Mac for that matter... They are shortcuts. So you don't have to go cycling through all your apps to find the ones you use the most. You don't have to make a folder for other crap you don't use often or ever

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 08:37 4

30. Zackd44 (Posts: 33; Member since: 29 Jun 2015)

Same reason you have shortcuts on your Desktop. You want the item in its original folder but you also want to have quick access to it. Improves user experience and it allows for visually pleasing customized desktop look when incorporating widgets

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 08:42 2

34. sissy246 (Posts: 3717; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)

Not everyone wants app short cuts on the home screen or they just want the apps they use most.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 08:56 3

36. Acdc1a (Posts: 353; Member since: 21 Jan 2016)

Right, and the rest can just go in the drawer for when I want to use them.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 09:25 1

46. MyJobSux (Posts: 106; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)

Easy, having a list of all the apps then putting the ones you want to use often on the main screen.

Why they would want to do anything similar to apple is beyond me.

posted on 01 Mar 2016, 02:52

80. MrElectrifyer (banned) (Posts: 3960; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)

I kinda agree with that. I organize all my icons into folders and sub-folders, in such a way that ALL my 100+ app launcher shortcuts fit on 1 screen, the important ones being exposed, secondary ones being just a swipe-away on the important ones (thanks to Nova Launcher), and the least important, all tucked away in folders and sub-folders:


My app drawer is for keeping track of new apps that I haven't organized into a folder, instead of having them flood my desktop screen.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 08:00 1

19. RangoX (Posts: 55; Member since: 20 Feb 2015)

Actually, after using a Xiaomi which doesn't have an app drawer, I see it is not that important after all. I kinda like it, and folders keep things organized.

Anyway you can always choose to install another launcher.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 09:05 1

41. phonearenarocks (Posts: 534; Member since: 26 Mar 2015)

"There's clearly an anti app drawer movement in the operating system's inner circles"

Post this, there will be clearly be an Anti-Vanilla movement for sure, Thinking through this, cyanogen might be right in thinking about removing Google from Android. Google Unilaterally taking huge decisions like this isn't right, though OEMs will bring in their own changes, big changes like this are not welcome at all.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 10:29 1

60. Piyath_ale (Posts: 79; Member since: 02 Nov 2015)

Copying at it's best.. Omg Google

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 11:13 1

65. carlemillward (unregistered)

I am saying it now: Force touch on the home screen is going to be the new app drawer button. Either way, more profit for Nova launcher and friends.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:28 3

2. Sovat_fc (Posts: 224; Member since: 30 Aug 2014)

iPhone effect? (an Android fan)

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:30 15

3. Mizraab (Posts: 26; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

This is ridiculous.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 09:46 3

53. Hoggington (Posts: 349; Member since: 23 Feb 2016)

I hope they get massive s**t, from people in the biz. Maybe it's not too late to reverse course.... though I fear it might be.

Android N will not have an app drawer. Not cool.

Hopefully Nova would enable it, if that's even remotely possible.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 10:30

61. 0kax0el0 (Posts: 220; Member since: 15 Nov 2012)

Yes it is posible, but in some cases the phone refuses to accept Nova as the default launcher.

I've tried this on a Lenovo Vibe X and a Huawei Ascend P7. Both lack an app drawer in the factory launcher. Installing Nova in both brings the app drawer back, but while in the Vibe X setting Nova as the default launcher allows you to forget about the app drawer-less one, the Ascend P7 keeps returning to the huawei launcher even when you specifically set Nova as the default.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:30 24

4. sip1995 (Posts: 1671; Member since: 07 Feb 2014)

If people wanted to get an iPhone, they would get an iPhone.....not an Android phone without app drawer.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:48

11. mrochester (Posts: 629; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)

Well isn't that why people buy Android in the first place, because they want an iPhone but have to settle for something less? There'd be no Android if iPhones were available at all of the Android price points.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 07:56 19

16. buccob (Posts: 2680; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)

false... this might be true to show-off people and then some other... but there are many people buying devices at the same price point or even higher than the iPhone...

The iPhone has never catered all of the Tastes out there.. people wanting microSD cards, removable batteries, waterproof, different sizes, different builds, different way to use....

Cheaper price alone will never be the reason to get iPhones...

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 08:14 6

21. hexa-core. (banned) (Posts: 58; Member since: 28 Feb 2016)

Just leave mrochester in his fantasy world.

Like, I buy an Android phone because I can't afford an iPhone... seriously?


posted on 29 Feb 2016, 09:19 11

43. tedkord (Posts: 13521; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

No, people buy Android because they want the most powerful, functional and flexible phones around with the best hardware, but without the imposed limitations.

My Note 5 exists at the iPhone price point, yet there's no iPhone in my pocket. That's because the Note 5 is better than the iPhone in nearly every respect.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 09:41 3

50. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4732; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)

Riiight, we all just want to be as cool as iPhone users. smh

You guys really need to get over yourselves. I bought two Android phones last year, more than enough to get a single iPhone. I bought them because I like Android, not because I can't afford an iPhone. I remember an iPhone user saying that the old "they're jealous because they can't afford an iPhone" mentality stopped quite awhile ago. Glad to see some people are still ignorant enough to buy into that.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 09:42 1

51. teerex42 (Posts: 213; Member since: 14 Jun 2012)

Keep dreaming there duder!! Android is heads and tails above an icrap!!!Just like Windows PC's are above the Mac's. The Mac's are overpriced and not worth the money you spend on them. Plus most Android phones have superior screens with their super amoled technology and high-resolution, which to me is one of the reasons of purchasing an Android over an icrap. It's no coincidence that Apple is going towards super amoled on their next phone because they have lost out to Samsung and Android. I never use my app drawer anyway.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 13:38 1

68. marorun (Posts: 5029; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)

MR Ochester wake up from your idream induced coma from too much apple coolaid.

No matter the price i would never get an iphone because i want to be able to switch OEM and keep all my apps.

Unless Apple start selling the OS to many OEM dream if you think i ever get an iphone.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 15:42 1

74. monoke (Posts: 727; Member since: 14 Mar 2015)

Lol. I think when you start to see every other grandmothers and 12 year old jimmy rocking iphones, u realize that prehistoric notion is long buried and dead.

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