Google Maps readies Android homescreen widget w/ dynamic colors

Google Maps readies Android homescreen widget w/ dynamic colors0

The latest addition to Google’s rapidly growing catalog of Android homescreen widgets is a handy search widget for Google Maps.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Google Maps search widget

Over the past few months, in anticipation of Android 12’s Material You overhaul — as well as the Pixel 6, which has extensively used Material You and widgets in advertising — Google has been adding a variety of homescreen widgets to their apps.

With the beta update to version 11.0 of Google Maps, rolling out now via the Play Store, there’s work being done to introduce a new homescreen widget. While it’s not currently available to use, our Dylan Roussel was able to manually enable the Google Maps widget to show it in action.

Similar in design to the recently added Chrome Quick Action Search widget, the Maps widget features a prominent search bar, with four shortcuts underneath, such as “Home,” “Restaurants,” “Bakery,” and “Groceries.” These suggestions appear to be the same as the row of options listed below the search bar in the main app.

Just as you’d expect, the widget can be resized freely, adding or removing shortcuts as you make it wider or taller. While significantly less useful, the widget is surprisingly adorable when downsized to 3 x 2. On Android 12, the widget adopts the colors of your wallpaper.

As an interesting side note, we’ve confirmed that the upcoming widget is currently poised to only arrive for devices on Android 11 or newer. Presumably, devices without Android 12 and its dynamic colors system will simply show the blue hues, as seen in the revamped Gmail.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article
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