Google Tests New Layout Changes for Phone App

What you should know

  • Google is redesigning the Phone by Google app, removing the bottom bar and introducing a three-line hamburger menu icon for accessing Contacts and Voicemail.
  • The new layout, found in the public beta version 128.0.625763929, simplifies the interface but leaves out Favorites and Recents, which may be added to the side panel in the future.
  • AssembleDebug discovered a code string in the app allowing the use of an Emergency SOS feature via satellite in the upcoming Android 15, expected to be released in September or October.
  • Android 15 beta 1 is available for compatible Pixel handsets, but installing it could lead to issues such as app malfunctions, reduced battery life, and other bugs, as the beta can’t be uninstalled without wiping the phone.

Full Story

Google’s on the move again. Yep, they’re tweaking the Phone by Google app. You know, the one you use to make calls but hardly notice? It’s getting a facelift. Out with the old bottom bar. You won’t find your Favorite, Recents, Contacts, or Voicemail tabs there anymore.

Now, there’s this three-line hamburger menu icon. Tap it, and a side panel pops out. But here’s the kicker: it’s almost empty. Just Contacts and Voicemail chilling there. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? What’s Google up to? Is this just a test or the future of dialing?

The rest of the crew – Favorites and Recents – are MIA in this new setup. Maybe they’ll pop up in that side panel eventually. That’d make it less lonely there.

Oh, and guess who spotted this change? AssembleDebug and PiunikaWeb did, while digging through the latest public beta. But hey, my Pixel 6 Pro is still on the older version. Seems I’m not cool enough yet for the new look. I’m crossing my fingers for the next update.

There’s more under the hood. AssembleDebug stumbled upon a neat code snippet. It’s about this Emergency SOS feature. Picture this: you’re out in the wild, no signal. But with Android 15, you could still reach emergency services via satellite. How cool is that? Expected to drop with the final Android 15 version around September or October.

For the brave souls, Android 15 beta 1 is out there. But beware, it’s a one-way trip. Once you’re in, there’s no going back without a factory reset. Could mean trouble with daily apps, battery life, or just making the phone work. But hey, if you’re itching to be the first in your circle with Android 15, dive in. Google’s got all the deets on their beta site. Just opt in, and soon you’ll be living on the edge with the latest beta.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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