Android 15 Beta 1 and the strange case of “Pixel Weather”

In conjunction with Android 12 Push and Material You, Google introduced a pair of weather widgets for the Pixel in 2021. With Android 15 Beta, the Pixel-exclusive nature of these weather widgets has been maintained.


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In Android 15 Beta 1, going to the widget picker reveals that the general “Weather” section has been renamed to “Pixel Weather.” The two home screen widgets are unchanged and continue to be powered by the Google app, while the icon has been updated to the one used by the Weather app/service introduced with Android 14 QPR1 in December which currently only powers the Clock app features.

Specifically, that's the sun on a bright blue background evocative of the sky, which is different from the custom “weather” shortcut (the sun covered by clouds on a white background) that saw a limited rollout late last year. This icon is also different from the shortcut you can put on your home screen from within the Weather app.

the Play store description This background service is as follows: “The integrated weather app dedicated to your Pixel device.” The watch's integration of post-alarm weather and temperatures for your saved cities in no way constitutes a “weather app.”

Renaming “Pixel Weather” serves no practical purpose unless it's a sign of things to come.

I've long wanted the Pixel team to offer a first-party weather experience instead of compromising the experience to Google Search. Last year's redesign, which first appeared on the Pixel before expanding to all Android devices, was very good, but not perfect. For example, weather notifications sent by the Google app open a new search when you tap them instead of trying the weather.

See also  Android 14 QPR1 Beta 2.2 is rolling out with 34p bug fixes

The more traditional Android app meant only for Pixel devices can see faster, more focused updates. The precedent here is Samsung and nothing goes its own way. It would be nice to have additional widget styles and a radar. Google has the data/technology to compete with Apple's Dark Sky and this should be leveraged by the Pixel team.

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