The Google Contacts app for Android doesn’t get many flashy updates, but that’s okay—it does a simple job, and it does it well. In fact, the only complaint you can’t tinker with is the fact that the widgets look like they’re from the Android Oreo days. Fortunately, recent code changes indicate that Google is gearing up for a major overhaul of the Contacts app module.
The current Google Contacts widgets are essentially 1×1 icons that cannot be resized and only have three options. One will pull up a single person’s contact information, another will dial a contact with a single tap, and the last will open the default texting app for that contact’s message thread. According to code changes spotted by 9to5Google’s APK teardown, two new widgets could soon bring drastic changes and Material You style to this age-old system.
The first widget is called “Favorite Contacts,” at least in development, and it lets you add up to seven contacts to the same widget. It starts as a 4×1 widget that only shows the first three contacts when you add it, but you can resize it by dragging until you see two rows of contacts. If you resize the widget high enough, it will even split into a two-column layout.
The other new widget is more traditional and presumably replaces the current 1×1 call, contact and text widget. It has a working title of “Personal Contact” and gives you quick access to a single person, as the name suggests, but interestingly there are three buttons in one widget. Google has been working on this widget since at least November, so it’s probably closer to its final form here.
You’ll see the contact’s photo in the default 3×2 layout, and tapping that will open your business card. This version of the widget has two badges – tapping the smaller button in the upper right corner opens a text thread with that person, while tapping the larger button in the lower left corner allows you to make a call. This widget can be resized to a 2×1 or 4×1 layout, both of which provide a more traditional interface where you can tap one of three separate buttons to call, send a text, or open a contact card.
These widgets are not yet available in the latest version of Google Contacts in the Play Store, which at the time of writing is version 18.104.22.1685591926. But if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you can always check for newer versions on APKMIrror.