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Google Notes on Search is about to get way easier for you to contribute (APK teardown)

Themes? We don't need no stinkin' themes.

Published onJuly 4, 2024

Google Search on smartphone stock photo (3)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Google is working on an update for Notes in Search that could eliminate the need for elaborate formatting.
  • Supporting quick plain-text Notes without theming could help encourage contributions.
  • The existing font and theming options will remain for users who prefer some extra style.

In an era when in feels like everyone’s turning to AI to solve their problems, the idea of just asking another person for their opinion sounds almost quaint. While that kind of approach lacks in buzzword appeal, it can also be the best way to get some reliable, actionable input. Last fall, we saw Google start experimenting with a new effort along these lines, inviting Search users to submit Notes: personal commentary on the results they get for their queries that other users can then view. Now, it looks like Google could be about to implement a small tweak to its Android app that will make Notes a bit easier to post.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

If you haven’t heard of Notes in Search yet, don’t worry; this is still an opt-in feature that’s part of Search Labs, and further geographically restricted to only users in the US and India. But for those of you who have signed up and spent some time playing with it, you’re certainly aware of the extent to which Google has emphasized the stylistic nature of the experience — Google doesn’t just want you sharing Notes; it wants you sharing pretty notes. Just look at Google’s intro video, which spends more time talking about themes and fonts than what sort of content to include in the Note itself.

Digging into version 15.26.34 beta of the Google app for Android, we’ve uncovered evidence that suggests Google could be stepping back a bit from the extent to which Search cares about how fancy your Notes look. Instead, the app should allow you to quickly share your take on Search results without worrying about first choosing the theme your comment is going to be all dressed up in.

Google appears interested in still giving users options, though, and we’re also seeing the ability to quickly set a background to your Note by attaching an image. And if you were perfectly happy with the old way of going nuts with fonts and themes galore, the app should be maintaining its existing Notes formatting options. So far we haven’t seen this change roll out publicly, but keep your eye on the Google app if you think Notes has potential and love to see it getting easier to use.

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