Each Google application receives user interface updates for Android tablets

At I / O 2022, Google announced that it would update more than 20 of its first big-screen applications as a sign of its commitment to the form factor. This will undoubtedly improve the experience for existing owners and is intended to encourage other developers to do the same. Here is every Google application on Android that has an update for tablet and what is going to follow.

Google applications with tablet user interface

  • Reverse chronological order, latest updates at the top

—Google Photos

Google’s Android tablet premiere is Google Photos and this update was released in January 2021. It is not much different from the web interface. A left-hand navigation bar means you can see slightly more vertical content, and you can display more tabs – compared to a bottom bar – without looking limited. In addition to Photos, Search, Sharing, and Library, you have instant access to On Device, Utilities, Archive, and Trash. A small adjustment to the material that Google has made in recent months is a pill-shaped indication to note which tab you see instead of just highlighting the icon.

  • Google Photos tablet
  • Google Photos tablet

At the top of the screen, next to “Google Photos”, there is a search bar with rounded corners. When viewing a photo in full screen, the upward scan reveals a right window, while the overflow in the upper right corner of the viewer displays actions with accompanying icons.

—Google Calendar

I’ve already decided that Google Calendar is my favorite tablet app especially for the great Day and Schedule views where you see the whole month on the left with a list of events next to it while the images come to life in the background. The company does not appear to be planning any changes.

While there is obvious reuse from the site, the Diary team has substantially differentiated the tablet app and this is a surprisingly rare phenomenon for Google.


Chrome on an Android tablet is almost identical to the desktop interface, given the use of tab strips and the Omnibox layout. There is also support for multiple windows to help with multitasking.


YouTube is quite optimized for tablet with two-column views everywhere, and the Google Input / Output preview showed only the player screen. It could always be changed to a navigation rail.

– Google translation

Translate already has the optimizations for tablets that are advertised on stage. In general, it is better for this application to be sparse and to have many gaps given its nature as a (of course) shared interface / tool.

—Files from Google

Google applications get more customizations on the tablet

—YouTube Music

Google committed to tablet music optimizations for YouTube Music – on both Android and iOS – earlier this year. This started by shrinking the cover to the Home tab so you can see more content on the carousels (Listen Again, Favorites, Mixed for You, etc.) without having to scroll. The other existing optimization is the two-column Now Playing view with controls on the left and the next queue on the right.

Moving forward, playlists will adopt a similar two-column view as part of a broader overall for this user interface. Like YouTube, Music could be moved to a navigation rail, though it would slightly restrict the available horizontal properties for shelving (and anything under four tabs looks weird for this UI). Additionally, the image below shows YouTube Music retaining the bottom line.

—Google Maps (see below)

Maps for Android already has a two-column view, but an upcoming update replaces the full-width bottom bar for the one in the left pane.

Upcoming Google tablet app updates

Google Android applications for tablet
  • Google translation: See above
  • Maps: See above
  • Photos: See above
  • Family Link: Instead of a navigation rail, Family Link seems to use a navigation drawer that always appears.
Google Android applications for tablet
  • Google Home: Central navigation rail, though it looks ridiculous with only two tabs. A two-column layout could be better.
  • Gmail: Navigation rail with drawer button at the top to view your folders and labels.
  • Google TV: Navigation rail, while you can see what is coming News feed notes as part of this wider Material you are redesigning.
  • Messages: Two-column layout, although it is not clear whether the interface shown above is more for folders rather than tablets that require device pairing, such as Web Messages.
Google Android applications for tablet
  • Google One: Navigation drawer with heavy use of cards in the body of the application.
  • YouTube Music: See above
  • Google Lens: Visual search on tablets today only works in portrait orientation.
  • Google Duo: Central controls.
  • Google Play: Like Photos, there is a navigation bar and a top search field. Cards are used to display various lists and promotions.
Google Android applications for tablet
  • Google Computer: Arrangement of two columns
  • Google Watch: Navigation rail in combination with a two-column arrangement

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