Pixel Launcher brings a fan-favorite feature back to the app drawer

Google Pixel 7 Pro lower half of home screen on green background
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The "quick launch" function for the Pixel Launcher has apparently returned.
  • The features lets users search for an app on their phone and hit "enter" to easily open it.
  • This "quick launch" feature vanished from devices after Google merged the Pixel Launcher's search bar with Search results.

Google Pixel devices are beginning to gain an old, useful search tool that (for some reason) vanished during past software updates.

According to 9to5Google, the "quick launch" feature for the Pixel Launcher search bar has apparently started to roll out in a limited form to users. This bar is easily accessible by swiping up on your device and sits at the top of your app list. The new version of the Pixel Launcher's search lets users type in the name of an app and hit enter to open it.

A Pixel 7 running Android 13 QPR2 with the return of "quick launch" in the Pixel Launcher.

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

A function like this comes in handy as you don't need to type and then move a finger up to nearly the top of your phone to tap the app.

Back during the time for developer previews for Android 13, it was noted that the company was working to unify the Pixel Launcher's search bar by not only including widgets and screenshots but also results from Google Search. Once this updated Pixel Launcher search bar rolled out with the OS, the handy feature of searching for apps and then hitting enter to open them disappeared.

The function was then rediscovered during Android 13's QPR2 Beta. Now, with its seeming reappearance, users may find it useful to have it back again; especially considering the recent launch of the Pixel Tablet and Pixel Fold, which boast larger screens.

9to5 notes that the feature was spotted on a Pixel 7 running stable Android 13 QPR2 release alongside the recent May 2023 security patch. However, it does appear as though the server-side changes aren't quite as widespread, so not everyone will see this for the time being.

Pixels have already moved into the next beta testing phase for Android 13 as its QPR3 Beta 3.2 build was released for eligible devices recently. The stable build of QPR3 is expected to land in June, with the expected feature drop for Pixels. The latest build comes with multiple connectivity bug fixes for SIM cards, Wi-Fi, and LTE coverage.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.