Last year, Google tried to update its black menu bar for signed-in users with a cascading menu, but had to withdraw it because users hated it, eventually settling on the current menu bar design. Now it’s trying again, announcing plans to strip out the menu bar in favour of a drop-down grid of icons for its most popular services.
The grid contains icons for nine key Google services: Google+, Search, YouTube, Maps, Play, New, Gmail, Drive and Calendar. As with most Google rollouts, this will be gradual, so it may be a few more days or weeks before you see it.
The argument is that this makes the interface more consistent on different devices. What sucks about this arrangement is that it means you need more mouse clicks to access any given service. Yet again it seems allegations of beauty trump getting things done. That said, seasoned keyboard warriors such as myself already have keyword bookmarks set up for those Google services we actually use, so these changes don't really make any difference. Let's see if this one sticks or if Google has to retreat again.
Updating the Google bar: many products, multiple devices [Inside Search]