Hidden code reveals the plan to add search shortcuts to Pixel Launcher

Code strings detected by 9to5Google in the Android System Intelligence app (Version S.17) reveals that Google is working on creating search shortcuts for Pixel Launcher. The shortcuts will help Pixel users search for specific content in the Google Play Store, YouTube, Google Maps and Settings.
For Android 12, Google added search to the device, which is available when you open Pixel Launcher. The search bar at the top of the screen says “Search your phone and more.” As you type letters in the search box, your phone searches for matching apps. For example, if you will look for “weather”, after typing the first two letters (“we”), this author’s phone showed links to EarthCams Webcams app, The Weather Channel (with direct links to the latter’s videos, radar and daily forecasts) and more .
If you search the device for something that cannot be found, the search bar turns white and says “Search on Google”. As practical as this is – and it’s actually practical – Google is testing an enhancement of this feature. Based on the code strings found, tapping one of the four aforementioned shortcuts will do something similar to the search bar, except that instead of saying “Search on Google”, the bar will ask you to “Search in Play Store” or “Search YouTube” or “Search Maps” or “Search Settings” depending on the shortcut you have selected.

The four code strings discovered in the Android System Intelligence app related to these shortcuts read:

  • Search Maps>
  • Search Play Store>
  • Search Settings>
  • Search Youtube>

Although we have no idea when this feature may appear, we can see where this can be a useful discovery tool for Pixel users. We have to point out that for those running Android 13 Beta 1, the search bar on the device (temporarily?) Has been dropped and replaced with the usual Google Search widget which includes a link to Lens, the voice search icon and a link to the Google app.

Less adventurous Pixel users running Android 12 still have the search bar on the device at the top of the Pixel Launcher.