Google is constantly tinkering with changes in its suite of applications, and Google Now is the latest app/service to see this testing. A few readers of Android Police have found some additions to their Google Now main pages.
The server-side switch plague has claimed another victim. Some users are seeing a series of blue circle icons on top of their Google Now stream for weather, dining, movies, and shopping. Others, like me, are not.The new UI, as you can see below, contains multiple small, circular icons that essentially serve as search shortcuts for various categories, including weather, dining, movies, and shopping.
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. If you think back to Google Now’s mantra of surfacing results to you before you even search for them, these essentially contradict it by asking you to search for things.
Directly below the search bar, there are now four different options to quickly search for specific topics: Weather, Dining, Movies, and Shopping. These icons feature a round design and are very minimal when looking at Google Now.
Philosophical and existential purposes aside, we don’t think the circles are very new. Cody spotted them a while ago, but they now seem to be showing up for more (but still limited) users. Users are seeing them in both the beta and stable Google app, so they don’t appear to be limited to one version.
There’s currently no information on when the updated UI will be publicly rolled out, although given that even users with a stable Google Now release are also seeing the changes, that should happen sooner than later.