Google Pixel phones like the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro come with a few software tweaks and extras that help set them apart from every other Android phone on the market, and it looks like another big new feature is on the way. .
According to code spotted by 9to5Google, the Pixel Launcher (so what you see on the first home screen) is being readied for a search upgrade that will match queries to results in a variety of additional apps. , including Google Maps, YouTube and Play Store.
If you search from the Pixel home screen today, you’ll already get results from files on your phone as well as the Google web search engine. Now, it looks like this feature is about to be expanded in the near future.
The enhanced search capabilities will of course save you from having to go to specific apps like Google Maps and YouTube and search from there. It also looks like you can search Android Settings using the same feature.
However, one caveat: interpreting unfinished code is always tricky, and even if 9to5Google has correctly identified what these new features are, there’s always a chance that Google will change its mind about implementing them.
At this time, it’s unclear if or when other Android phones might get the same feature, or when the search upgrade might hit Pixel phones. It’s possible that this is part of one of the Pixel Drop updates that Google releases on a regular basis.
Analysis: It’s time for pixels to shine
It’s fair to say that the fortunes of the Google Pixel series of phones have been up and down since 2013 when the very first Pixel and Pixel XL handsets appeared. However, with the Pixel 6 series, Google definitely seems to be on the right track.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the Pixel was the best-selling phone model ever released. Now that might be a low bar to jump – and he didn’t reveal actual sales figures – but the general consensus is that Google finally has a smartphone that can go along with handsets driven by tastes. from Apple and Samsung.
Of course, for a phone to be successful, it needs a winning combination of hardware and software, and it’s in the latter area that Google can really push ahead. It does search and AI better than anyone else, and the upgraded version of Android it puts on its Pixels should reflect that.
The upgrade we covered above would be another step forward, and we’d also like to see Google Assistant become even more proactive in terms of knowing what users want to do on their smartphones and when they want to do it.