With the launch of iOS 14 last year, many Google apps added support for updated homescreen widgets. The Google Search widgets are now adding nice customizable backgrounds for iPhone and iPad. 

The main Google app on iOS offers two widgets, starting with a simple 1×1 shortcut that immediately opens the search field and keyboard to quickly enter a query. Google’s bigger widget also lets you quickly enter Lens, do a Voice Search, and Incognito lookup.

When they first rolled out, their backgrounds were either light or dark to match the system theme. Google has since updated these widgets to support custom backgrounds. To change, open the app and select your profile avatar. General > Widgets > Widget theme presents a list of seven options.

There’s “System default” to follow your iPhone or iPad, while “Light” or “Dark” allows you to set independently of your device theme. The more interesting options are Earth, Travel, Abstract art, and Solid colors. 

Each is home to several dozen different backgrounds that you can hand-pick or set to “Refresh daily,” just like wallpapers on Android. Besides the background changing, Google also themes the buttons to match, though the pill-shaped search field remains white in most instances.

These new widget backgrounds are a fantastic way to liven up your homescreen without having to manually change your device wallpaper everyday. It could incentivize people to place the widget, even if they usually search another way, just for the rotating gallery.

Themes for the Google widgets on iPhone and iPad are now widely rolled out with the latest update.

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