What you need to know
- Google appears to be offering its new homepage experience to users for another phase of testing.
- Desktop users will be able to add widgets to the bottom of their search page through an account option.
- Widgets include weather, news and other useful information while being expandable on hover.
Google’s homepage, once clean and clear, gains widgets as the new feature moves into another phase of testing.
As reported to 9to5Google, Google seems to be pushing this new feature so more users can test it out. Some users notice a prompt saying, “Meet the new Google.com”. If you’re not signed in, users will be prompted to sign in to their Google Account so they can edit their new homepage cards. 9to5Google explains that clicking “Make this space yours” opens another window that lets you customize the cards that line the bottom of your search homepage.
“Meet the new https://t.co/Dw4J4gNDnM”!! I cleared Chrome’s browsing history (cache, cookies, everything) and when I logged back into Google, I got it on its homepage. Hope this comes to @googlechrome’s NTP. CC @9to5Google @NexusBen #9to5Google #NewGoogle pic.twitter.com/FPD7J0O7EhAugust 1, 2022
Users started noticing Bing’s own version of Discover Maps earlier this year. It appears to be a pretty stripped down version of the Discover feed on Android phones when you visit the Search or Chrome app. The available widgets then included news, weather, Covid information, etc., which still seems to be the case.
During initial testing, the widgets lining the bottom looked more like rounded rectangles. This new, slowly emerging phase of testing shows squares with rounded corners, although it looks like some early testers have seen cards of this shape as well. As 9to5Google speculates, choosing the square shape could be a way to include more of those information squares on your screen.
It would be a good thing if that’s the case, given that when widgets first appeared in February, the number of widgets shown was based on your display size, which means smaller desktop screens have seen fewer widgets on their Google homepage. Also, it seems like you still can’t scroll through the widgets at the bottom of the homepage, which means what you see is what you get. However, you can hover over each widget individually to expand it to better view the information presented.
While a feature like this would probably be welcome among those on desktops using Google.com, it’s unclear how extensive this new phase of testing is, and none of our devices seem show the cards.