Share this Story

Report: Google’s Project Hera to Feature UI Redesigns, Better Cross-platform Multi-tasking

Rumors and reports are flying around the Android community this week, surrounding a new piece of work from Google, reportedly titled Project Hera. Giving credence to the speculation are various screenshots which have been taken from various testing devices, showing off an updated look for both Gmail and Calendar.

Not only will Google look to revamp the look of these two applications, but the company will apparently attempt to bring a uniformed aesthetic to all major Google applications system wide. 

Without diving too far down the rabbit hole, let’s take a look at the newly-leaked screenshots. First up, Gmail. Not too long ago, a leaked screenshot showed off an updated look for Gmail, but it didn’t look anything like this. It had much more of an iOS vibe, while this new screenshot keeps the same basic look of the current Gmail app. The only real difference is the top bar being completely red instead of the off-white grey which we now have. It should be noted that this screenshot was leaked from a random user on Reddit, who posted it using a disposable account.

Gmail Project Hera

Next up we have Calendar, which features Google’s internal name for the app, Timely. Yes, the same Timely which Google acquired not-too-long ago. Thanks to Geek.com, we have a few screenshots of what the new Calendar app could look like, and it is a major overhaul from what we have now.

As you can see below in the screenshots, the Calendar app takes on a much softer, more easily-read interface. In the month view, there doesn’t appear to be any harsh edges and obnoxious colors, allowing for a cleaner overall interface. According to the source of the screenshots, Calendar takes on a much more social aspect, with Google allowing for the input of events from across the web and social networks.

If you ask us, we enjoy the look of it much more than the current version of Calendar, but who knows when and if it will ever come to our devices. For now, it is all in the testing phase.

Google Calendar Project Hera

According to sources, and even speculation from various outlets, Project Hera looks to be much more than simple UI tweaks; culminating into more of a UI standardization and multi-tasking overhaul across multiple platforms, including Android and the Chrome OS. The one thing which Google will more-than-likely keep at the center of this standardization is Google Search, which includes Google Now.

From what is speculated regarding the multi-tasking across platforms, users could conduct tasks with web-based information on their smartphone, without having to open any applications. As all platforms would be tied in together, if one app is opened on your phone, then it would essentially be opened “in the cloud,” allowing for the information to be viewed on any of your other devices.

Think of it like how Chrome handles tabs currently – if you open a tab on your desktop, you can find the same tab on your smartphone, thanks to the syncing feature which Google introduced just a couple of years ago. Google’s main goal will be to simplify multi-tasking across all of your devices, allowing for the perfect amount of information syncing.

With Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, right around the corner, it could be quite possible that we see more details surrounding Project Hera come to light.

To me, it seems as if Google has already put in quite an effort to change the design language that they would like to see third party developers adopt for their applications. It might even be frustrating at first that they would do it again, with almost everyone I know loving the look of Android which was introduced with Android 4.4 Kit Kat. However, if we are talking “standardization,” then it’s true that the same thing that might look good on my smartphone, won’t look as good on something else.

What are your thoughts on Project Hera and the couple of reported screenshots we have seen? Are we diggin’ it?

Via: Reddit | Geek | Android Police
  • MReprogle

    I don’t use the calendar app much, but a little color in Gmail is appreciated. I love the ‘Other devices’ sync that they currently offer in Chrome, but if they can make this even faster to get to, I’m all for it.

  • Terry West

    Like some of the others here, it looks like a failed marriage between Facebook and Apple – Yuck!! Been using Cal by Any.do, synced to Google Calendar.

  • Terry West

    Like some of the others here, it looks like a failed marriage between Facebook and Apple – Yuck!!

  • Tomek G

    I hope they become more consistent with their own standards. One of the reasons why i despise hangouts is their inability to provide contact context (when tapping user icon)

  • That Gmail screenshot doesn’t look real at all…

  • Matthew DiGiacomo

    I really don’t think the calendar screen shots are Google. They look like Sense and the fact that they are on an M8 is further evidence that they are probably HTC skins or apps.

  • joejoe5709

    So. I know this might be obvious but this is the successor to -and basically replaces- the Holo design language, right?

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Talk about unification. Making some core Google apps feel like 1 app. The core ” Google experience “. Could be a skin. I have a couple thoughts on this.

  • Raikou

    Just reminds me too much of Apple, I’m sorry.

  • SewWhat


  • brkshr

    I know Android Police is a direct competitor and all, but I feel like they should have received a mention in the article for being the ones to discover Project Hera. At least you did site them as a source in tiny itty bitty font at the bottom…

    I like both DL & AP equally and you both fight for the top spot on my Google Home page daily. Help each other out. I see a lot of the same people commenting on both sites.

  • jeff manning

    the calendar app is from the same person who “leaked” the gmail app last week. It goes completely against the design google has been using for the hamburger menu. I think these are all fake.

    • dreadfulCore

      Yeah, i noticed that too. I was asking myself, “where are my burgers?”.

    • zurginator

      It’s also worth pointing out that the action bar changes sizes – something that doesn’t happen. Also it uses the iOS overflow and menu icons/placements.

  • immersive Mode, please.

  • viewthis66

    i dig it… in Gmail i really want the option to add/replace actions on the command bar while also having the option to move that bar to the bottom of the screen.

  • WitnessG

    I actually like the redesign. They must add in the tinted status bars, it would look good with the new solid top bars.

  • Pete Arado

    Really liking that new calendar design – I’m assuming the widget would be redesigned as well, which is awesome because I think it looks awful and is long overdue for an overhaul. Using the Today widget now, but would much rather use Google’s own app.

    • Doug

      Agree 100%, and also using Today widget. Been begging Google to update the widget and offer a month view and some transparency.

    • Keep using Today! The developer is readying a full new Android Calendar app which I’m in the beta of; it’s looking pretty hot. It also comes with the pro version of the widgets, and the dev will refund you if you’ve previously purchased that.

    • Brandon

      I rarely ever use the calendar app itself, for the widget, I’ve fallen for “Event Flow Calendar”

      • Doug

        Wow, great app. Thanks.

        • Brandon

          No Problem buddy, I think I found it via DL actually!

      • Danny McVey

        I use DigiCal+ right now, but will gladly switch back to the Google app if this redesign happens. I’m also hoping they add Google Tasks support to the calendar.

  • El_Big_CHRIS

    I hope they do multitasking like the hangouts notifications crossplatform. If im listening to music on my desktop and then head to work, I’d like to just fire up the gmusic app and have it play the last track, exaclty where i stopped listening. And unify the UI’s, a bit like how imessage looked on the OSX and iOS, my 2 cents

    • Brandon

      I can do that with Plex (the XBMC fork) and it’s a pretty damn awesome feature.

      • El_Big_CHRIS

        xbmc is pretty complicated to set up. My coworker did it for me to watch movies and shows. I’d rather use Google music all access since I pay for it