What you need to know
- The Pixel Launcher could become more useful for searching within more apps other than the Google app.
- Google has been spotted working on search shortcuts for Google Maps, Google Play, Settings, and YouTube.
- If the launcher is unable to retrieve results from those apps, it will revert to Google Search.
The Pixel Launcher's search functionality already allows you to search for items directly within the Google app. Google may be working on expanding that level of integration to other apps.
According to a teardown by 9to5Google (opens in new tab), the launcher may pick up search integration for Google Maps, YouTube, the Play Store, and Settings. This feature was discovered in a recent version of the Android System Intelligence app, which governs the launcher's integrations.
However, there is no word on when the new search experience will be available on Google's best Android phones (opens in new tab), including the Pixel 6 (opens in new tab) series. There's even a chance it won't make it into a final release at all, as is sometimes the case with experimental features.
That said, when it is released to the public, the Pixel Launcher should include search shortcuts for the aforementioned apps. This means that if you type a text query into the search bar and then tap on an app shortcut of your choice, the launcher will most likely pass your exact query to the corresponding app.
It should make the launcher's search functionality a lot more useful when paired with the Pixel Launcher's ability to bring up widgets (opens in new tab), saved screenshots, and Google Search suggestions in the search bar.
It remains unclear when Google will formally announce the feature, if ever. It could make its debut at Google I/O 2022, which is just around the corner (opens in new tab). The search giant may also release it in a future Feature Drop. It's anyone's guess at this point.
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.
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