It is rumoured that Google could be about to remove one of Android’s most popular features.
The app drawer, which has been synonymous with Android since the operating system first launched, is the button at the bottom of the home screen that takes you to all the apps you have installed on your device.
However, according to a report from Android Authority, the popular feature could be ditched by the time Google launches Android N, the next version of the operating system.
Rumours regarding the possible death of the app drawer started circulating over a month ago but increased last week following the release of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5. The S7 includes an option where you can turn off the app drawer, whereas LG has removed the featured completely from its new flagship device.
On Sunday, a video tweeted from Google Maps also showed a mock up Android device without an app drawer.
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) February 26, 2016
For Google to remove the app drawer would arguably be one of the biggest changes since Android’s inception and would take away one of the major features which differentiates it from other mobile operating systems, namely iOS, where every app shortcut is included in the home screen.
Of course this is all just rumour at the moment but it does give us an idea of what Google might be planning when the Android N is released out later this year.
It is perhaps also worth pointing out that with because Android is open source, smartphone manufacturers are free to change and tweak it in any way they see fit. For example, a number of Chinese smartphone makers, including Huawei and Xiaomi, have already dropped the app drawer from their devices.
We should get a better idea of Google’s plans for Android N during its keynote event scheduled for May 18-20.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.