Home > General > Android 11 Beta 1 brings dynamic app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher home screen, and here’s how it works

Android 11 Beta 1 brings dynamic app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher home screen, and here’s how it works

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We knew that Android 11 was going to bring App Suggestions to the Pixel Launcher, based on reports from a handful of folks that got the update early, but we didn’t actually know how that would work in practice. Now that we’ve had a chance to play with it, here are all the details. In short: It’s pretty snazzy.

Android 11 Beta 1 brings dynamic app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher home screen, and here's how it works 2 Android 11 Beta 1 brings dynamic app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher home screen, and here's how it works 3

Left: Prompt to add app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher. Right: The onboarding process.

When you install Android 11 on a Pixel, you may get a notification like that visible above, prompting you to add your “most-used” app shortcuts to your home screen in the Pixel Launcher. If you tap the notification, you’ll be taken to the onboarding process (above right), which offers to add them to your home screen. As described, the new row of app shortcuts takes up the persistent bottom row of apps on the home screen, and stuff already in that row is displaced upward.

Android 11 Beta 1 brings dynamic app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher home screen, and here's how it works 4 Android 11 Beta 1 brings dynamic app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher home screen, and here's how it works 5

App suggestions. 

The new app suggestions are easily visible by their lightly tinted outline, which changes to follow the system’s icon shape and theme. Long-pressing one of the app suggestions and dragging to move it results in that suggestion changing from an app suggestion into a dedicated shortcut for that app. You can also mix and match app suggestions with your own hand-picked apps simply by replacing them in that bottom lineup, as you can see above.

Suggestions change dynamically based on which apps you use. While there’s probably more to it, they seem to show your most recently used apps in a chronological list from left to right. However, like the app shortcuts in the app drawer, they may have more logic to them than first meets the eye. Either way, they are dynamically-changing shortcuts to apps you might need to use.

Android 11 Beta 1 brings dynamic app suggestions to the Pixel Launcher home screen, and here's how it works 6

This “Suggestions on Home screen” toggle controls the feature in the Pixel Launcher.

There’s also a new setting for app suggestions in the Pixel Launcher’s settings menu (long-press in an empty spot -> Home settings -> Suggestions -> Suggestions on Home screen). Disabling that option immediately removes all app suggestions from the home screen. Note: re-enabling the feature after you turn it off is a little awkward. You won’t get the prompt to add them again, but they will eventually appear on the home screen spontaneously some time after you turn the setting back on. Presumably, Google will tweak that behavior (maybe with an option to manually add them yourself like a widget) before Android 11 hits stable.

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