Update 6/6: The tablet optimization announced for YouTube Music at I/O 2022 is now rolled out. It sees the Android app on large screens get a redesigned playlist view, which is a big part of the service. There’s a two-column UI where cover art and other details appear at the left and the song list is on the other side. At the moment, this revamp only applies to YouTube Music’s album view, while the phone UI does not see any visual modernizations.
In a demonstration of dedication to the form factor, Google stated at I/O 2022 that it will adapt over 20 of its first-party applications for huge displays. Existing owners will obviously benefit from this, and it is intended to inspire other developers to follow suit. Here’s a list of every Google app for Android that has received a tablet update, as well as what’s on the way.
This is just the latest in tablet update for YouTube Music, with that team starting earlier this year on the Home feed to let you see more content in carousels (Listen again, Your favorites, Mixed for you, etc.) without having to scroll. Other optimizations exist in Now Playing (two-column view with controls at the left and your Up next queue at the right) and side-by-side settings.
Google’s premier tablet app on Android is Google Photos, and this update rolled out in January of 2021. It’s not too different from the web UI. A navigation rail on the left edge means you can see slightly more vertical content, while more tabs can be shown – compared to a bottom bar – without looking cramped. In addition to Photos, Search, Sharing, and Library, you have quick access to On Device, Utilities, Archive, and Trash. One small Material You tweak that Google made in recent months is a pill-shaped indicator to note what tab you’re viewing instead of just highlighting the icon.
Update 6/3: Google Clock 7.2 starts by introducing a left-sided navigation rail on tablets that gives the app more vertical space as a result. The other big change is the use of two-column layouts, when in landscape orientation, throughout the application. Update 5/25: Version 8.2 of Google’s Calculator app brings a two-column layout where you can always see your calculation “History” on tablets and other large screen devices. Other parts of the UI are shrunken down accordingly and this is particularly suited for multitasking. Update 5/18: Version 13.19 of the Google app lets Google Lens open in landscape mode. The visual search tool was previously restricted to portrait orientation on Android.
At the top of the screen, next to “Google Photos,” is a search bar with rounded corners. When viewing a photo fullscreen, swiping up reveals a right-hand pane while the overflow in the top-right corner of the viewer shows actions with accompanying icons. I’ve already opined how Google Calendar is my favorite tablet app, primarily because of the great Day and Schedule views where you see the entire month on the left with a list of events next to it while illustrations liven up the background. It does not appear that the company is planning any changes.