The latest smartphone rumors are dominated by the imminent launch of the Google Nexus 2016 handsets – phones that are coming to replace the highly successful Nexus 6P and the mid-range Nexus 5X.
As part of the changes that Google is adding to the new handset, it is reported that the Nexus 2016 phone will carry a redesigned Home button. This rumor has been here for quite some time now, but Google has yet to say a thing on the same matter. But with the changes already underway through the new Google System UI as well as Android 7.0 Nougat in general, it is likely that the rumored new home button will indeed make its way to the 2016 Nexus phones.
Apparently, the redesigned Home button will be animated. Users will come across a white circle at the center, but when animations kick off, four more colors synonymous to Google will show up. These are red, yellow, blue and green. At the time of this writing, nothing has been brought forward regarding what this animated button will do on the Nexus 2016 phones. However, this has not deterred folks at Android Police from speculating that this button could be used for a variety of things, among them launching the new Google Assistant.
As for now, no one has really tried out this new Home button, which means it could also be anyone’s guess as far as what the button’s purpose is. This has even attracted in-house speculation that the four different balls could each be used for a different purpose, with the blue one taking care of Google Allo. In the past, long-pressing the Home button has led to different actions, for instance, opening Now on Tap (Marshmallow) and Google Search on previous versions. Given that Google Assistant is seen as an enhanced version of Google Now, it is possible that the former could also live within such proximity, just like the latter.
Furthermore, there are rumors that Google Allo could come preinstalled on Android 7.0 Nougat. This could also mean this app finds a place on the animated home button. All of these, if they materialize, should be available on the new Google Nexus 2016 handsets, which should be released this fall. But as usual, take everything with a grain of salt.