Rumours have surfaced over the past week which suggest that Google is planning to remove the app drawer from the next version of Android. But with the successor to Android 6 Marshmallow still in its very early stages of development, these reports have seemed highly speculative until now.
The Google Maps team have tweeted a short video as a tie-in to the current movie awards season. So far, so unremarkable; but at the start of the clip, a computer-generated image of a phone is visible for a fraction of a second, and it is running an edition of Android that does not appear to contain an app drawer.
There are still many questions left unanswered, of course, and this video in no way acts as definitive proof that the app drawer’s days are numbered. Android 7.0 N – which does not have an official name yet – is still some way off from being released, so much could change.
It is also worth noting that even if the icon that has been traditionally used to access app drawer is removed, the feature may still be accessible via other methods.
There are also numerous unofficial launchers on the Play Store which offer an app drawer.