Google started rolling out a new compact Assistant UI to a few users back in August last year. In the last several months, that new UI has made its way to most users, and it’s much more intuitive than the older Assistant panel that covered the entire display. According to one of our tipsters, Google is now working on giving the compact Assistant UI a colorful refresh.
Google Assistant’s new colorful UI was recently spotted by Matthew Pirszel, who managed to enable the change on their phone ahead of the official rollout. As you can see in the attached screenshots, the change alters Google Assistant’s background color based on the light or dark theme. While we’re not sure why Google would pick these shades of green and blue based on the system theme, we suspect that these colors are simply placeholders for Android 12‘s wallpaper-based “monet” theming system.
In case you missed our previous Android 12 coverage, the “monet” theming system automatically changes the notification background and accent color for the Quick Settings tiles based on the dominant colors in the current wallpaper. The theme also recolors the Settings page with the dominant color, and it even affects the in-development Lockscreen and Notifications UI. Since the theming system changes the accent color across so many parts of the UI, it may affect Google Assistant’s background color as well.
As you might have spotted in the screenshots attached above, our tipster also managed to get the rumored “My Actions” shortcuts on their device. We previously speculated that Google Assistant’s “My Actions” shortcuts would let you launch frequently used queries with one click. That appears to be the case, as our tipster managed to set up a button to “set volume to 50%,” and a shortcut for that action appears in the Google Assistant UI.
Our tipster managed to get these features running on a Sony Xperia phone running Android 11, but we could not reproduce these screenshots on a Pixel 4 running the same Android version. At the moment, we have no further information about these Google Assistant changes. We’ll update this post as soon as we learn more.