Google planning more than UI changes: Project Hera bridges Android, Chrome and Search

April 7, 2014
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gmail new features

Last week we not only learned about a possible redesign coming to Gmail, but another rumor suggested that the new design would be applied to all of Google’s core apps. Over the weekend Android Police further expanded on the rumor of a major overhaul coming to the next version of Android.

AP’s sources not only confirm that an app redesign is on its way, but Google is also getting ready to dramatically change up the way their mobile OS works with what is being internally referred to as Project Hera. While not all the details are clear just yet, Hera is allegedly Google’s attempt to further bridge Android, Chrome and Google Search.

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Renders showing off the alleged app redesign that will come with Project Hera

The idea is that Hera will introduce a special Chromium build that allows Android and third-party apps to run certain tasks through the web. What does this mean exactly? Basically Hera will be replacing the current multi-tasking view, bringing us mini-HTML5 applets that let us quickly perform specific functions without opening the full (native) version of the app.

Not only would you be able to reply to messages without opening full apps, you’d also be able to get a quick view of your navigation app and respond to the information presented, tweak your calendar and much more.

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The new HTML5 card “multi-tasking view” (render)

Improving the way we use our mobile devices and the web

As you can imagine, Hera would certainly make it much easier and quicker to perform key tasks from both Google and 3rd party apps, but it sounds like the HTML5/Chrome integration will go a step further than this. Google has already done a good job of using Google Now cards and other efforts to more seamlessly bring together our desktop and mobile experience, but Hera may expand on this.

Imagine starting a task within the mobile or desktop version of Chrome, only for this information to show up in the multi-tasking view on your Android device. Essentially that means any task you perform in Chrome (Search, Gmail, Google Drive, etc) could potentially be presented within the HTML5 card view.

Bottom-line, Google wants to bring Google Search and Chrome technology to the forefront of our mobile and desktop experience in an even bigger way than we’ve already seen, while also providing a seamless experience regardless of what device we are using. Now some of the examples we’ve heard and seen might not prove completely accurate, but if the core idea of the rumor proves correct we could be in for the most radical change to Android that we’ve seen since Android 4.0.

What do you think, like the idea of deeper integration between Google Search, Chrome and Android? Interested in the potential of a seamless experience that follows you no matter what device you are using? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Here’s to hoping we learn more official information at Google I/O this summer.

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