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Android N could lose app drawer, official Google video hints


android n no app drawer
Where's it gone?

Android N isn't due to be revealed until the summer, but Google has already dropped a massive hint as to what to expect.

It seems Google could be taking a new approach and dropping the app drawer, one of the longest-standing features of the operating system. That's according to a video that Google released through Twitter.

The video is to show off Google Maps, and ties in to last night's Oscars ceremony. It shows Google Maps working away in typically efficient fashion, but the opening few frames may have given away more than Google intended.

It shows the OS running with only three icons at the bottom of the screen – the phone, contacts and camera. In other words, the app drawer is gone.

The app drawer has been part of Android since the first version, so dropping it would be a major change. Google updated it for Marshmallow too – it added your most-used apps at the top of the page, plus a search bar.

If this video is a sign of things to come, those changes will be scrapped.

However, nothing is official just yet. The clip is animated rather than showing actual footage, so there's a chance whoever made it made a boo-boo. So don't go mourning the loss of the app drawer just yet.

Read more: What is Alphabet?

Google will show off Android N at its I/O conference in the summer. I/O usually takes place around May or June.

Google has previously confirmed that split screen mode is coming for N. Though it hasn't decided on a name yet. Got any ideas? Yours could end up being chosen.


February 29, 2016, 4:57 pm

maybe it's not that the app drawer is gone, just the icon for it. What about pressing the home button when on the homescreen opens the app drawer, like you're already able to do with some third party launchers?

I have this setup on Action Launcher, where I use all 5 dock locations for icons, and open the app drawer with the home button


February 29, 2016, 5:33 pm

Actually that would make for sense, one button, one function - toggle between home screen and app drawer (why did they call it a drawer?..., but anyway)


February 29, 2016, 5:51 pm

simple: in early Android days it WAS a drawer, with a visible tab that slid up and over the homescreen to show all apps. Only later versions changed to a screen that faded in or a bubble opening, but the name stuck...

Dead Words

February 29, 2016, 6:08 pm

Wait the most popular mobile operating system, at least in this particular poll, is Windows? Awesome and unexpected.
I hope Google doesn't remove the app drawer. I've never liked having all of your apps out on the home screens. Android and Windows phones do it right. Have your most important apps on your home/Start Screen, and then have a list of all of your apps.


March 2, 2016, 5:28 pm

only relevant for those that dont use custom launchers.

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