What you need to know
- The Pixel Launcher's unified search feature has disappeared due to an Android 13 bug.
- Some Pixel phone owners noticed the incident sometime after upgrading to Android 13.
- Google has acknowledged the problem and promised that a fix is coming.
A few days ago, Google finally rolled out the stable version of Android 13, which arrived a bit earlier than usual. While the update introduced a ton of improvements and bug fixes, it seems some stones were left unturned during beta testing, as Android 13 has inadvertently removed a handy Pixel Launcher feature.
The folks over at 9to5Google have noticed that the Pixel Launcher's unified search feature has disappeared from their Pixel phones. This functionality is designed to bring the search bar at the bottom of Pixel home screens in line with the one at the top of the app drawer.
Unfortunately, the unified search bar vanished sometime after an update to Android 13. It should be noted that it was still available shortly following the upgrade. A device reboot presumably triggers the feature to vanish into thin air.
The incident occurred on many of Google's best Android phones, including the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a units as well as the older Pixel 4a. But it's likely that the issue is affecting other Pixel models as well.
A number of screenshots shared by 9to5 revealed that the search bar on the home screen bears the big "G" logo, while the one at the top of the app drawer removed this marking, reverting to the old interface sans the Material You theming. In the beta versions, both search bars had Google's logo on the left of the search box.
Google has confirmed to the outlet that it is aware of the situation and promised that a fix is on the way as part of an upcoming release.
The Pixel Launcher's unified search functionality is one of its best features. It works to yield results both from the web and the Pixel phone, so it's a shame that this bug has removed this capability even after Android 13 went through several beta tests.
That said, no single piece of software — beta or stable — seems to be immune to bugs, and Android 13 is no exception.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.