Ever since its inception, one of Android's strongest characteristics has been its ability to customize just about everything to your heart's content. There are a ton of third-party customization solutions throughout the Play Store, but thanks to a teardown of the Google app, it would appear that Google itself will soon be giving users more options for changing up the look of their home screens.
Right now, the Google app has three widgets that you can add to your home screens: Feed, Google, and Google Sound. The Google widget is the rectangular search bar that allows you to quickly initiate typed and voice searches, and while it's perfectly functional, you can't really change the look aside from adjusting its length.
Going from fixed widgets to customizable ones would be great.
Within the latest beta for the Google app, there are numerous mentions for something called "Google Bar" within strings of code, and once these strings are activated, an updated Google widget can be added to your home screen. However, the real magic happens when you tap on the Customize tab within the overflow menu.
Upon doing this, you'll see the Google widget on top of your wallpaper with four icons below for customizing the bar logo, bar shape, bar color, and bar shading.
Starting off with bar logo, this allows you to choose whether you want the full Google logo to be displayed or just a single "G." The bar shape option has three different shapes to choose from, including a traditional rectangle, a rectangle with slightly rounded corners, and a round bar not unlike what's found on the Essential Phone, Galaxy S8, and other 2017 flagships.
Bar color really gets the customization juices flowing, enabling you to turn the Google and other icons from white to gray, darkening the entire bar for a more stealthy look, and even two sliders for fine-tuning the color of the bar to your exact liking. Lastly, bar shading lets you adjust the transparency of the widget to choose whether you want it to be more solid or see-through.
Google has yet to comment on this latest discovery, and at this point, it's entirely possible that it could get scrapped and never see a public debut. However, I think it's safe to say that this is one feature most of us are chomping at the bit for Google to hurry up and release.