With Android 12, the Pixel Launcher introduced a new on-device search experience at the top of the app launcher. While it’s temporarily gone from Android 13 Beta 1, the Pixel Launcher is working on search shortcuts beyond the Google app.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

This newer Pixel Launcher search experience, which can be set to automatically open the keyboard upon swiping up for the app launcher, is geared towards on-device queries. That said, it suggests “Search on Google” when no other results appear.

Version S.17 of Android System Intelligence reveals work on adding Search on Maps, Play Store, Settings, and YouTube. Like with Search on Google, tapping on a search shortcut should automatically enter that query into the corresponding application.

  • <string name=”search_on_maps_title”>Search on Maps</string>
  • <string name=”search_on_play_title”>Search on Play Store</string>
  • <string name=”search_on_settings_title”>Search on Settings</string>
  • <string name=”search_on_youtube_title”>Search on Youtube</string>

It’s possible that Google will roll this capability ahead of the broader Android 13 revamp that appears to be underway. Android 12 will remain the stable build for a few months, and this seems ideally suited for the next Pixel Feature Drop. 

More on Pixel Launcher:

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com