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Android 12 DP2: New device search bar in the works for Pixel Launcher, possibly others

Google Assistant is the focus for any type of search on Android nowadays, especially on Pixel. However, it appears Google is set to make device search a bit easier on your launcher with a new bar that could debut in Android 12.

Local device search can be done on Android launchers via the Assistant search bar, but it’s not a solution focused on that. While you might be searching specifically for an app on your device, you’ll also be getting Google Search results with it.

In Android 12, Google is preparing a new device search bar that takes the place of the Assistant/Google Search bar. Seen below as activated on the Pixel Launcher, this new option doesn’t have any Google logos and, when used, just searches the content on your device directly. Unfortunately, it’s not a user-facing feature that we had to enable, and further, it’s not properly working yet.

One thing we can see, though, is a settings menu where users are able to toggle on and off different sources for search results. Possible results include apps, app shortcuts, settings, contacts, slices from apps, widgets, and the Play Store. There’s also a “nasa” codename, but it’s not clear what that is right now.

Since this is not yet a user-facing feature, it’s unclear if it will be made available with the final release of Android 12.

Android 12 DP2 is now available for download, and we’re still digging through all of the changes. Feel free to drop a comment below or ping me on Twitter if you notice anything new that we haven’t covered yet.

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