Google could be about to ditch one of Android’s biggest features

Are the app drawer's days numbered? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Are the app drawer’s days numbered? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Android’s famous app drawer could soon be no more.

Google will reportedly ditch the age-old feature for its upcoming Android N upgrade, placing all apps on the home screen instead. The move could make the platform more convenient for some users, but will it upset many others?

The app drawer has been baked into Android since its inception, and it’s one of the many features that differentiates it from iOS. Most users appreciate it because it’s a place to hide apps you don’t use all that frequently to prevent them from cluttering up your home screen.

But according to a report from Android Authority, citing “two separate sources,” Google existing pre-release builds of Android N do not contain an app drawer. It has been removed altogether, meaning all apps live on the home screen — like they do on iOS.

“It is already obvious that Google is not entirely happy with the app drawer,” the report continues. “Removing the app drawer altogether would reintroduce the preferred horizontal app icon structure while removing the step of actually launching the app drawer.”

It would also make it easier to find, organize, and uninstall apps — which is something that could attract iOS users to Google’s platform.

It should be noted, however, that just because pre-release Android N builds don’t have this feature, there’s nothing concrete that confirms Google is dropping. It certainly looks like the company is toying with the idea, but it may not be set in stone yet.

We won’t get our first Android N preview until Google I/O in May, and then it won’t be made available to the public until the fall, so Google has plenty of time to experiment and change it mind. And if it doesn’t, you can use third-party launchers to get the app drawer back.