The Pixel Launcher could get a handy upgrade to its search experience


What do you want to know

  • The Pixel Launcher might become more useful for searching in 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 fails to fetch results from these apps, it will fall back to Google search.

Pixel Launcher’s search feature already allows you to search for items directly within the Google app. Google may be working to extend this level of integration to other apps.

According to a teardown by 9to5Google, the launcher can support search integration for Google Maps, YouTube, Play Store and Settings. This feature was discovered in a recent version of the Android System Intelligence app, which governs the launcher integrations.

However, it’s unclear when the new search experience will be available on Google’s top Android phones, including the Pixel 6 series. There’s even a chance it won’t make it into a final release at all, as this is sometimes the case with experimental features.

That said, when it goes public, Pixel Launcher is expected to include search shortcuts for the aforementioned apps. This means that if you type a text query in the search bar and then tap an app shortcut of your choice, the launcher will most likely pass your exact query to the corresponding app.

This should make the launcher’s search feature much more useful when paired with Pixel Launcher’s ability to display widgets, saved screenshots, and Google search suggestions in the search bar.

It’s still unclear when Google will officially announce the feature, if ever. It could make its debut at Google I/O 2022, which is fast approaching. The search giant may also release it in a future Feature Drop. It’s anyone’s guess at this point.


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