Pixel Launcher will receive search shortcuts, based on a hidden code

Pixel Launcher will receive search shortcuts, based on a hidden code

If you search on-device for something that can’t be found, the search bar turns white and says “Search on Google.” As handy as this is-and it is handy indeed-Google is testing an enhancement of this feature. Based on the strings of code found, tapping on one of the four aforementioned shortcuts will do something similar to the search bar except instead of saying “Search on Google,” the bar will prompt you to “Search on Play Store,” or “Search on YouTube,” or “Search on Maps,” or “Search on Settings” depending on the shortcut you’ve chosen.

Google is working on creating search shortcuts for the Pixel Launcher, according to strings of code uncovered by 9to5Google in the Android System Intelligence app (Version S.17). Pixel owners will be able to use the shortcuts to search for specific material in the Google Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps, and Settings. Google brought on-device search to Android 12 and it’s available when you open the Pixel Launcher. “Search your phone and more,” says the search bar at the top of the screen. Your phone searches for apps that match the letters you type into the search field. For example, after typing the first two characters (“we”), this writer’s phone presented links to EarthCam’s Webcams app, The Weather Channel (with direct links to weather forecasts), and The Weather Channel (with direct links to weather forecasts).

Highlights

  • On-device search bar reverts to Google Search bar if there are no responses to your query – Hidden code reveals plan to add search shortcuts to Pixel Launcher. On-device search bar reverts to Google Search bar if there are no responses to your query. Less adventurous Pixel users running Android 12 still have the on-device search bar at the top of the Pixel Launcher.

  • While we have no clue as to when this feature might surface, we can see where this could be a useful discovery tool for Pixel users. We do need to point out that to those running Android 13 Beta 1 that the on-device search bar has (temporarily?) been dropped and replaced with the usual Google Search widget that includes a link to Lens, the icon for Voice Search, and a link to the Google app.