Pixel Launcher search is getting a big upgrade with Android 13, including the ability to query the Play Store. Meanwhile, ahead of the public launch, Google continues to survey users about the capability.
In Android 13, Google unifies the search bar at the bottom of your Pixel’s homescreen and the one that appears at the top of the app drawer. It’s now the same experience with both fields allowing you to search the web, applications, app shortcuts, and contacts. Meanwhile, if those results fail, the Pixel Launcher will let you quickly search and open YouTube, Maps, and the Play Store in addition to Google (Search) and the Settings app.
That said, as of the Android 13 Beta Program, not all features are consistently live across phones. It appears that Google is still testing various capabilities before the consumer launch.
One of those tests is for inline Play Store results. Searching for an app name that isn’t installed on your phone can bring up inline results from Google Play that note the rating and developer name. Several apps can be shown with a tap opening the listing directly.
L-R: Android 12 (Google app & Pixel Launcher search) | Android 13 (disabled & live)
This Play Store search is not live on every Android 13 Beta device. We have it on just one Pixel 6a and 6 Pro, but not a 4a. Further highlighting the variance is how the aforementioned 6a does not have a setting to enable People (contacts + conversations) search.
All this will presumably be streamlined once the stable version of Android 13 launches.
Ahead of that, Google continues to ask users about the device search experience. It first did so in June, and the latest comes from Google Opinion Rewards. Google is presumably behind this survey, and asks “what was your primary goal when you searched for On-device content in the search box?”
- Find or manage phone settings
- Find or browse content on an app
- Find a person’s contact information
- Find content on the web
- Take an action on app (e.g., send text)
- An app not installed on my phone
- Other (please specify)
The second question is rather interesting and wants to know whether you have an issue (comfortable vs. uncomfortable) with “seeing the app and web results in a single search box.” The example it uses is a first name query that shows both on-device contacts and web results for famous people.
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