[Update: Gone from the beta too] Twitter removes its homescreen widget support from the latest alpha

Twitter is struggling to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Life can be tough when you’re a social network that almost everyone has heard about but no one knows how to use when they’re just joining for the first time.

But despite these tumultuous times at Twitter’s headquarters, the Android app has seen some of its best days in the past few months: an overhauled Material Design inspired interface, a test for a night mode, Android N Direct Reply, and more. But instead of giving something new, the latest Twitter alpha 6.9.0 takes away a feature: the homescreen widget.

If you have the widget added to your homescreen, you will see the above message instead when you’re on the latest alpha. The widget is clearly no longer functional. Whether this change will carry through to the beta and stable versions remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Twitter’s Android developers are at least considering the possibility of removing the widget support altogether. Maybe they found out it wasn’t used all that much and the people who had added it were so few that it didn’t warrant keeping it alive and supported. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, feel free to cry foul in the comments below.

[Source:-Android Central]

Google app testing feed/Now notifications under the search bar on the homescreen

With Google Now renamed to a more generic “feed” in recent updates, it appeared that Google wanted to avoid confusion with the upcoming Assistant. However, Now might not entirely be overshadowed as a new widget that shows notifications under the search bar is currently being A/B tested.

Screenshots from Reddit user navjot94 show a new Widget section in the Settings of the Google app. Enabling it shows “commute, weather, and local information in the Google widget.” Specifically, information that would normally trigger a notification now shows up just underneath the search bar on the homescreen.

For instance, weather alerts include exactly the same icon and text that usually appear in the notification shade. Like a notification, users have the ability to tap in order to see more or dismiss it. The text underneath the search bar likely pushes down app icons and other widgets on the homescreen.

With people receiving more and more notifications, information appearing right on the homescreen is a useful method to make sure people see important, time sensitive information. This widget is likely being A/B tested among a very small group of people as using the beta version of the Google app does not guarantee its appearance.