Google Pixel phones, such as the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, have a few software adjustments and additions that set them apart from the rest of the Android market, and it appears that another big new feature is on the way.
The Pixel Launcher (what you see on the first home screen) is being prepared for a search overhaul that will match queries to results inside a range of new apps, including Google Maps, YouTube, and the Play Store, according to code uncovered by 9to5Google.
If you search from the Pixel home screen right now, you’ll get results from your phone’s files as well as the Google web search engine. This capability appears to be on the verge of being expanded in the near future.
Look in every direction
Of course, the better search capabilities will save you the effort of having to go into specific apps like Google Maps or YouTube and conduct searches from there. It also appears that you might be able to use the same feature to search Android Settings.
A word of caution, though: reading incomplete code is always tough, and even if 9to5Google has properly recognised what these new features are, there’s always the possibility that Google will decide not to implement them.
It’s unclear when or if other Android phones will acquire the same capability, or when the Google search improvement will arrive on Pixel phones. It’s possible that this will be released as part of one of Google’s regular Pixel Drop updates.
It’s Pixels’ turn to shine, according to the experts
Since 2013, when the first Pixel and Pixel XL phones were released, the fortunes of the Google Pixel series of phones have been up and down. Google, on the other hand, appears to be on the rise with the Pixel 6 series.
The Pixel, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, is the fastest-selling phone model ever. Now, that may be a low bar to clear – and he didn’t give actual sales figures – but the widespread consensus is that Google has finally released a smartphone that can compete with Apple and Samsung’s offerings.
Of course, any phone must have a winning combination of hardware and software to flourish, and it’s in the latter area that Google can make the most progress. It is stronger at search and AI than almost everyone else, and the upgraded version of Android it instals on its Pixels should reflect that.
The above-mentioned improvement would be a step forward, and we’d want to see Google Assistant become even more proactive in terms of anticipating what people want to do with their phones and when they want to do it.