Android 15 to bring new animations and UI tweaks to the Pixel launcher

Android 15 to bring new animations and UI tweaks to the Pixel launcher
If you're a Pixel owner or an Android enthusiast, you know that the Pixel Launcher is the heart of the Google software experience. While users have their gripes with its limitations, Pixel Launcher still offers a solid foundation, customizable features, and some unique perks like the At a Glance widget. Google isn't sleeping on it, either, as Android 15 promises some interesting improvements to make the Pixel Launcher even more streamlined and intuitive.

This was discovered by Android expert Mishaal Rahman (via Android Authority) during a recent code dive into Android 15 Beta 1, where he found that Google is preparing some significant changes to the operating system when it pertains to its Pixel devices. One of which is the animation when you swipe up on an app to close it and return to the home screen, which he states is "faster and springier."

Smarter widgets and a helping hand

Let's be honest, the current pixel launcher widget recommendations could use some work. Fortunately, according to Rahman's findings, Android 15 looks brighter on that front. Google is reportedly revamping how the launcher recommends widgets, smartly dividing them into categories like these:

  • Essentials: Core tools you rely on daily
  • Social: Keep your connections close
  • Health & fitness: Track your wellness goals
  • News & magazines: Stay up-to-date
  • Your chill zone: Unwind with favorite apps
  • Entertainment: Movies, shows, games
  • Suggested for you: Personalized picks
  • Weather: Always know the forecast

Beyond this, adding widgets will get much more convenient. Currently, it's a drag-and-drop process, whereas Android 15 will introduce a simple "+ add" button to the widget picker, saving you an extra step.

Android 14 vs. Android 15 Widget Selector, +add button in Android 15 Widget Selector | Credit: Android Authority

Tweaking the "Recents"

If you're a multitasker, this change matters. In Android 15 Beta 1, Google is tweaking the "recents" screen (where you swipe to view open apps). Accessing app info, split-screen mode, or the "pause app" function currently requires tapping the app's icon. Soon, expect a small pill-shaped icon next to the app's name, clearly signaling those extra options exist. It's a small but welcome tweak for efficiency.

Android 14 vs. Android 15 Recents | Credit: Android Authority

These changes might seem minor on their own, but add up to a potentially smoother pixel launcher experience. Google seems dedicated to refining, not reinventing, its core launcher, focusing on those quality-of-life aspects that truly matter in everyday use. Can't wait to see how this all comes together for the final release of the newest version of the Android operating system.

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