Google Photos Tablet

Every Google app gets updates to the user interface of your Android tablet

At I/O 2022, Google announced that it will update more than 20 first-party apps for large screens in a show of its commitment to form factor. This will undoubtedly improve the experience of the current owners and aims to encourage other developers to do the same. Here’s every Google Android app that has a tablet update and what’s yet to come.

Google apps with user interfaces for tablets

  • Reverse chronological order, latest updates at the top

—Google Photos

Google’s first Android tablet app is Google Photos, and this update rolled out in January of 2021. It’s not much different from the web user interface. Having the navigation rail on the left edge means you can see a bit more vertical content, while more tabs can be displayed – compared to the 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 item that Google has been tweaking in recent months is a pill-shaped indicator to note which tab you’re viewing rather than just highlighting the icon.

  • Google Photos Tablet

At the top of the screen, next to Google Photos, there is a search bar with rounded corners. When viewing a full screen image, swiping up shows the right pane while overflow in the top right corner of the viewer shows actions with accompanying icons.

– Google Calendar

I’ve already explained how Google Calendar is my favorite tablet app, mainly because of the great day and schedule displays where you see the entire month on the left with a list of events next to it while the backlit illustrations light up. The company does not appear to be planning any changes.

Although there is clear reuse from the website, the Calendar team has purposefully distinguished the app for tablets, which is a rarity for Google.


Chrome on Android tablets is almost identical to the desktop interface due to the use of tab bars and an omnibox layout. There is also support for multi-windows to help with multitasking.


YouTube is fairly well optimized for tablets with two-column views all the time, and the Google I/O preview only shows the player screen. It can always turn into a navigation rail.

-Google Translator

The tablet improvements have already been touted on stage. Overall, it’s better to have this app a little bit and have a lot of spacing, due to its nature as a common (physical) interface/tool.

—Files by Google

Google Apps Get More Tweaks on Tablet

youtube music

Google committed to improving tablets for YouTube Music — on both Android and iOS — at the beginning of this year. This started with shrinking the cover photo in the home tab so you can see more content in the carousel (listen again, favorites, shuffled for you, etc) without having to scroll. Another improvement present is the two-column view of Now Playing with controls on the left and Next Queue on the right.

Going forward, playlists will adopt a similar two-column view as part of a broader public interface to this user interface. Like YouTube, music can go to the navigation bar, although it will slightly limit the horizontal real estate available for browsing shelves (and anything under four tabs looks weird for this widget). Additionally, the image below shows YouTube Music retaining the bottom bar.

—Google Maps (see below)

Maps for Android already has a two-column view, but an upcoming update is replacing the full-width bottom bar with one that fits in the left panel.

Future Google Tablet Apps Updates

Google Android Tablet Apps
  • google translator: look above
  • maps: look above
  • Pictures: look above
  • family link: Instead of a navigation bar, Family Link appears to be using an always-appearing navigation drawer.
Google Android Tablet Apps
  • The Google Home: a central navigation rail, although it looks silly with just two tabs. A two-column layout could be better.
  • gmail: Navigation bar with drawer button at the top to see your folders and labels.
  • Google TV: Navigation rail while you can make the next Highlights of the news feed As part of the broader material you’re redesigning.
  • Messages: Two-column layout, although it’s unclear if the UI shown above is more for foldable devices rather than tablets that require device pairing, such as Messages for Web.
Google Android Tablet Apps
  • google one: Navigation drawer with extensive use of cards in the body of the application.
  • youtube music: see above.
  • google lens: Visual search today on tablets only works in portrait orientation.
  • Google Duo: central controls.
  • google apps: Like the pictures, there is a navigation rail and a top search field. Cards are used to show various menus and promotions.
Google Android Tablet Apps
  • google calculator: two-column layout.
  • google watch: Navigation rail combined with a two-column layout.

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