Google has quietly unveiled a new grid-like layout for some of your search results, but only on Android and only if Google thinks you’re specifically searching for mobile apps. Those who have noticed said grid have indicated that it tends to pop up when you’re searching for “something apps,” with the “something” being a number of other descriptive words—like “camera,” “music,” or “fun.”
When you run the right search, Google will display the results in a pretty, 3×3 grid of colorful tiles representing each app that you might want to grab for your device. The colors of the tiles actually match up to the colors founds in the apps’ logos (for the most part). You get six of these prettier tiles to look at when they first appear, but you can also tap on a little arrow icon to expand the grid to as far down as you want to scroll—tile overload.
As TechCrunch notes, these new tiles do trade a bit of visual appeal for raw information. Previously, Google’s (admittedly uglier) results gave each app enough room to show a little description of what, exactly, the app was. That’s gone in these new tiles; the only info you get is the name of the app, its rating, and how many people have downloaded it. If you already have the app installed, you just get that: The word “installed” underneath the app’s title.
It’s unclear just if, or when, Google might roll out the tile changes universally. If you try to search for a similar phrase on iOS, for example, you get the classic view. The same goes for any desktop or laptop searches you make, but we kind of expected that—Google isn’t going to pull up potential mobile app results higher in a search if you aren’t even running said search on a mobile device.