Google is testing a new layout for its search app for Android smartphones that will make it much easier to use the handset with one hand. As smartphone screens get bigger, many app developers have begun to move elements of the user interface — including tabs, search bars, and menu buttons — to the bottom of the screen. As part of a new test, Google has reportedly moved the search bar to the bottom of the screen for some users on the app.
Spotted by TheSpAndroid, the new test that brings the search bar to the bottom of the screen on Android was introduced on version 184.108.40.206.arm64 of the app. The company could move the search bar that is usually located higher up on the screen to the bottom. Screenshots shared by the publication show a much taller search bar that is located above the home, search, and saved icons.
The new location of the search bar on Android is expected to make using the Google search app on Android phones much easier — you will be able to start a search bar with your thumb and then either tap or swipe the keyboard, without using your other hand. The change could come in handy for users with large smartphone displays.
It is worth noting that the test is only available to some users who have updated to the latest beta version of the app — the latest stable version of the app currently available is 14.47.36. Gadgets 360 was unable to access the new layout after updating to the latest beta release via the Play Store, which suggests that the redesign is only available to some beta testers.
Google hasn’t made an announcement related to improving the reachability of the search bar on its Android app, and it’s too early to say whether it will roll out to the change to all users, make it optional, or set it as default. The company previously reversed a design change that brought the search bar to the bottom on Android, then allowed beta testers on iOS to move it to the bottom in August.