Last month, the Android 8.1 Developer Preview officially brought over many of the Pixel 2’s new features and UI changes — including an updated Pixel Launcher — to the original Made by Google phones. There were some notable differences, but fortunately an update rolling out today is reconciling the disparities.
Features like the bottom-located search bar, At a Glance widget, and transparent app drawer from the Pixel 2 were added to the original Pixel and Pixel XL with Android 8.1. However, there were some interesting differences related to search.
In the app drawer, last year’s devices retained the basic “Search Apps” functionality that simply looked through your list of installed apps.
Now, thanks to a server-side update that appears to be rolling out, the UI on original devices has been upgraded to match the Pixel 2. The top of the app drawer now features a rounded Search bar with the Google ‘G’ on the left-hand side.
Meanwhile, tapping the bar launches a new interface that integrates the main Google app’s device search functionality. This includes your past search history and results from apps, including Chrome, contacts, music, and more. Meanwhile, apps appear at the bottom of these search results. The newer interface is also available by launching the search bar from the homescreen.
These updates are now widely rolling out this morning to original Pixel and Pixel XL owners on Android 8.1.
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