Stories in the Discover feed are no longer placed in individual cards. They are, instead, laid directly on a flat gray or white background in an approach that does remove padding but ends up being quite generic. Additionally, Google is not really taking advantage of that gained space, as articles no longer feature the first sentence.
Without descriptions, all you get now is the cover image, headline, and publication name/logo. This provides much less context before opening an article.
Elsewhere, the overflow menu in the bottom-right corner has a new icon, which is accompanied by share and “heart” buttons. These changes apply to both the Google app and the feed to the left of most Android homescreens. When you’re at the top of Discover on the Pixel Launcher, you’ll see even less of your wallpaper. This description and card-less design has been available on the iOS Google app for quite some time now.
This new Discover look started earlier this month, when Google made its logo left-aligned rather than centered. Meanwhile, the Snapshot shortcut is placed in a rather bright circle next to your profile avatar. Taken together, it’s quite a jarring initial appearance.
As of today, only Google app beta users on Android 12 are encountering this Discover redesign. Be sure to refresh the feed for changes to take effect. It does not appear on phones running earlier versions of Android and could be tied to the upcoming operating system’s rumored visual overhaul.