Android 13 Beta 1: App drawer on device search replaced with Google widget search bar

All the changes we’ve seen in previews of Android 13 developers have formed in our first look at Android 13 Beta 1. Some of these changes appear to be interesting features, if not returns to previous iterations of the operating system. For example, the Pixel Launcher app drawer in Android 13 Beta 1 has been changed to the familiar Google widget search bar instead of the version on the device.

So far, Android 13 Beta 1 has a lot to offer and shows a promising OS when it is fully released to the public. Things like Now Playing previews, new Material You colors and brand new quick settings have all found their way into this new version of Android. However, there is something that just does not work … right.

In Android 12 and Android 13 – both DP1 and DP2 – the app drawer housed a search bar on the device. This means that no matter what you typed there, Pixel would ask Pixel to search for apps and settings directly on the device. There would be a “Search on Google” button available if you felt it was worth taking the query on the internet.

In Android 13 Beta 1, this search bar has returned to an earlier version where it was only the Google widget, complete with Google Lens, a Google App shortcut and the voice search button. This is the same search bar that you find at the bottom of the screen on Pixel. When you open the app drawer, Google’s search bar will still let you search for apps, but it will prioritize internet searches first instead of the apps and settings on your device.

In all likelihood, this is probably just a bug, and the search bar on the device is supposed to be there instead. If it is a mistake, it is also something that can be very easily corrected in the future. There does not seem to be a clear reason why this change would take place on purpose as the search bar on the device works very well in Android 12 and in Android 13 Developer Previews.

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