I’ve become a huge advocate of Google’s collections, and I even believe that automated user curation of content on the web is the future of the internet. We’ve talked about how you can use them to inspire your 2021 goals, put a custom collection icon on hardware remotes for Google TV, and even hoped items could be saved in Chrome before the company made the reading list decided route. It’s been quite a long journey, but one thing is for sure – Google isn’t backing down or killing collections.
Instead, it tends to be more than ever, although updates are rare, they always seem to make sense. As 9to5Google found out, the “Collections” tab in the Google Search app for Android has been extensively redesigned today. Instead of simply displaying your custom collections in a list of suggestions at the top, it now displays multiple segments highlighting Google-made collections that are at the core of some of its services.
There’s a new Quick Access section at the top that is editable (although it’s currently broken) that will likely show you the last two things you added, as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings prove that I just got added to my Google TV watchlist this morning. Below that is a “Shopping” section that shows items you’ve selected to “Follow Up” in Google Shopping, and just below that, a “Find Next” section that offers suggestions based on recent Shopping searches.
A new segment, “Shows and Movies”, shows items you recently added to your Google TV watchlist and a link to go straight to the full list. Fortunately, your handmade collections have their own section, although they’re further down the page. Tapping the “View Your Collections” button will take you to a tiled layout that shows them all.
Finally, a “Recipes” block at the bottom has all of the delicious and fatty foods you’ve bookmarked on the internet, plus a “Go to Cookbook” button that shows you all of the items you have previously been able to see on your Nest Hub. I really love the thoughtful layout of these elements because it shows that Google is trying to bring automated collections to the fore and take the manual labor out of using them.
Overall, the Collections tab loads and navigates between pages much faster, and as 9to5 pointed out, it seems less like a web wrapper and more like a custom experience. I am very pleased that Google is developing this function further and making it better known on the web. Recently, the collections bookmark icon in Google image search results went from open and hidden behind the “More” menu which made me a little discouraged, but this update renews my excitement! At the time of this writing, the web interface has not yet been updated to match the mobile experience, but we’ll see if that comes with time.