Android 12 will make Search both fun and useful

Chris Burns - Aug 12, 2021, 11:53am CDT
Android 12 will make Search both fun and useful

If you’ve used the Google Search bar in an Android device in the recent past, you probably weren’t impressed. Depending on the device, you were more than likely simply sent to the Google App, and the search system – until now – was a bit of a mess. With the latest update to Android, with Android 12 and its 4th Beta release this week, we see the future of Search in Android.

As discovered by XDA Developers this week, the new Search Bar will allow a much more versatile tool to work on Android devices. Or, at least, on Google Pixel devices. This new search system only appears in the “Pixel Launcher” in Android 12 Beta 4 in the Pixel Launcher’s app drawer.

With this new search bar, a search bar we’re hoping will be available to all Android devices at some point, you get a lot of options. Options with this search bar include toggles for search results including shortcuts (for apps and people), people (contacts, conversations, and more), Settings, and Pixel Tips. Obviously the Pixel Tips part will be relegated to Pixel devices – but the rest could potentially work with and Android device, we’re hoping.

The “Experiments” section has a set of toggles that’ll really change the way we search. Toggles include Navigational Site, Play Store (app and media results), Screenshot(!), Chrome Tab, People Tile, Widgets, AppSearch Settings, AppSearch Tips, Show hidden targets, show results from allow-list apps only, and “Open IME asynchronously.”

This new search system allows users to launch certain actions in apps as well. If you search for an app that integrates the new app search system, you could potentially launch to a specific bit of an app, like launching right to a control screen, straight to capturing a video, or dropping in on a call that’s already been dialed.

Cross your fingers this new system isn’t going to be relegated to Google Pixel devices. Assuming Google’s API AppSearch is utilized by 3rd-party systems, we might very well see this functionality on devices of all sorts.


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