Google could be stealing more ideas from Samsung for future foldables

Multitasking bar on Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new leak shows that Google is working on upgrading stock Android's taskbar for large displays and foldables.
  • Upgrades include recent apps, a way to toggle the bar to be always visible, and a new search bar in the app drawer.
  • These upgrades could happen as soon as the first quarterly Android 14 update this December.

Pixel phones are great for many reasons, and one of the best is the regular cadence of updates and feature additions every single month.

Pixel Fold users could be the beneficiary of one of the next big Android improvements, according to a leak from Mishaal Rahman (via Android Authority). In the leak, Rahman discusses upgrades Google has been working on for the taskbar found on Android tablets and foldable, which include recent apps, a search bar, and the ability to toggle visibility.

The best foldable phones from Samsung, like the Galaxy Z Fold 5, include all of the above features, and Google is looking to bring them to all Android foldables, including the Pixel Fold. Since Android 12L, Google has been enhancing OS-level functionality like the taskbar so that more phones have the best features.

While the Z Fold 5 didn't change too much, it did add the ability to multitask between up to four apps at once using the taskbar icons. Users can quickly tap an app to go between any of the four most recently-accessed apps, and Google wants something similar to be present in the first major update of Android 14 later this year.

Multitasking on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 with the new taskbar upgrade

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Additionally, Google looks to add a way for users to toggle the visibility of the bar by pressing and holding on it. This functionality sounds similar to how the taskbar works on the Z Fold series. On the Pixel Fold, the only way to make the taskbar appear currently is by swiping up and holding for a moment on the gesture bar at the bottom of the screen.

Google also looks to be adding a search function to the app drawer found on the taskbar, which could make it easier to quickly find an app.

The final Android 14 beta just landed a few days ago, and we expect the full release to appear within the next few days or sometime this month. As such, these new taskbar features may appear as soon as the first Android 14 quarterly update, which is expected sometime in December.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu