It seems like only yesterday that I was complaining about how Google Collections wouldn’t load on my Android device no matter what I did. It was busted on Google’s end, and no amount of troubleshooting or talking to support helped the situation. If you don’t have a clue what Collections are, I don’t blame you. This powerful, yet under appreciated and under-promoted feature found at google.com/save allows you to save just about anything from around the internet in one place and organize it into groups.
It truly is a sleeper hit and you’ll find a little bookmark icon on pretty much every app or service the company offers, letting you to dump everything from books and movies, maps, articles, and more into this storage pool.
I woke up on Thanksgiving day to find that Google had completely revamped Collections not only in the Google Search app for Android, but also on the web! What’s more is that this revamp is a complete Material You overhaul. As you can see below, it’s got a gorgeous, new look, and loads snappily.
The most exciting part is that you’re not just looking at a new lick of paint. In fact, it seems Google has reassessed how Collections work as a whole, ditching the old smart UI (likely the cause of the lag), and has instead gone with a simple layout of your existing Collections.
Most notably, some new features make their debut here, including a prominent interface for Collections you “like” or have saved from other users, making them truly collaborative, adding notes to any item saved, brand new organization options, and believe it or not, the ability to manually create collection items by adding a link, text and and image of your own choosing!
Needless to say, these features will make the tool much more useful for many more people, but most folks still don’t even know about Collections. However, Google’s lack of advertising is likely a tactic, and I think it’s working. The less attention they draw to this feature, the more people will casually stumble upon it, and it will become something they just use as a part of their Google ecosystem. It doesn’t need to be flashy or try to take over anything that already exists, and this will allow it to live a longer life.
The Google Collections Material You refresh is not available for everyone yet, and I, myself, only received it on one of my accounts. It seems to be a server-side switch, so keep checking back often until the UI changes for you. Enjoy!