Google has unexpectedly reversed course on its recent addition of a dedicated Weather app icon for Pixel phones and tablets. Introduced in December 2023 as a server-side update, the icon was a convenient shortcut that offered users direct access to Google’s revamped weather experience.

The icon, featuring a simple sun and cloud design, was identical to the “Add to homescreen” shortcut but without the Google app badge. This standalone icon was a welcome change for many Pixel users, as it streamlined access to weather information without the need to navigate through the Google app.

However, over the past few days, 9to5Google noticed the icon mysteriously disappearing from their app grids. If previously placed on the homescreen, it has now been replaced with the standard Google app icon. This sudden removal might leave some Pixel users puzzled and disappointed, as it was seen as a promising step towards a fully independent Google Weather app.

Google-Weather-icon-in-app-grid
Google Weather icon in app grid

A standalone weather app could offer a host of benefits, such as faster updates, additional features, and more customizable homescreen widgets. This is particularly relevant considering Google’s significant redesign of its weather experience in 2023, which introduced Material You design elements and real-time precipitation forecasts powered by a sophisticated deep learning model.

While the reason for this rollback remains unclear, it’s undoubtedly a setback for those hoping for a more comprehensive and accessible weather experience on their Pixel devices. For now, users will have to continue accessing weather information through the Google app or by adding a weather widget to their home screens.

Despite this disappointment, it’s worth noting that Google’s weather offerings have improved significantly over the past year. The real-time precipitation forecasts and the integration of weather information into the Clock app are just two examples of how Google is enhancing its weather services. As such, we can still anticipate further refinements and innovations in the future, even if the standalone app remains elusive for now.

Hillary Keverenge
2197 Posts

Tech has been my playground for over a decade. While the Android journey began early, it truly took flight with the revolutionary Lollipop update. Since then, it's been a parade of Android devices (with a sprinkle of iOS), culminating in a mostly happy marriage with Google's smart home ecosystem. Expect insightful articles and explorations of the ever-evolving world of Android and Google products coupled with occasional rants on the Nest smart home ecosystem.

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