Google signaled that its Google Now branding was on the way out when it unveiled Assistant in May, and it now looks like the company is determined to erase whatever traces were left. The team at 9to5Google has discovered that Google's latest search app beta kicks the Now naming scheme to the curb. Now on Tap is just "screen search," while Now cards are your "feed."
The only significant addition in the beta at this point is the option of creating a shortcut for searching within your apps.
Yes, it would just be a name change (assuming Google doesn't reverse course before the final release). However, it'd both influence the way Google talks about Android and reflect its overall strategy. Google Assistant and the search box are the real stars of the show -- those additional features are just icing on the cake.