Google rolls out calling screen redesign for its Phone app


In September last year, Google was spotted testing a UI redesign for its Phone app. The redesign brought a new calling screen that moves buttons to the bottom and arranges them more compactly. Several months later, the updated Phone UI is rolling out widely to users.

Google’s Phone app gets a revamped calling screen

Until the latest update, Google Phone’s calling screen showed buttons towards the middle, with only the hang-up button at the bottom. You get two rows with three buttons each, all sitting flush with the calling screen. If there are more, you have to swipe to see them. This approach isn’t the most readily accessible, more so with one-handed use. Google is now using a sort of bottom bar for these in-call buttons to make them more reachable. It is also housing the buttons on a sheet with separate backgrounds. A bottom bar design is pretty common in Google apps.

The Phone app now shows four buttons in a row just above the big red button for disconnecting the call. Those are Keypad, Mute, Speaker/Bluetooth device, and More from left to right. The More button slides up the sheet to add another row of buttons on top of it. You’ll find Hold, Record, Add Call, Video Call, and other options there. The keypad also opens up as part of the sheet above the buttons. Google isn’t making any changes to the top half of the screen, though. You’ll see the contact’s profile image and name like before, with the call duration under the name.

The whole in-call UI on the Phone app now has a Material You inspiration with dynamic coloring. Google updated the app’s dialer to the Material You design language almost a year ago. The rest of the app is also now following it while also improving accessibility. According to 9to5Google, the changes are rolling out with version 98 of the app (released several weeks ago for beta users). The update isn’t available widely yet, but you can click on the button below to check for it on the Google Play Store.

Google is testing more changes for the Phone app

Google is also testing a top-left pill for ongoing calls on the Phone app. It marks a shift from the existing chat head approach that gives you a floating button on the screen. We have noticed a back-and-forth availability of the two solutions on our devices. It remains to be seen if the company plans to keep both approaches for longer or if it will do away with one of them soon. But the calling screen redesign is final and will be available to everyone over the next few weeks.



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