Forget Widgets, Google Is Testing a Weird New Search Shortcut for Android

9to5Google

There are several ways to bring up Google Search on your Android phone. You can pin a Search widget to your home screen, for example, or press the dedicated Google Assistant button on your phone to ask a quick question. But soon, Google will introduce a new way to Search on Android—a floating bubble that provides easy access to Search and Assistant.

As discovered by 9to5Google, the latest Google app beta (version 12.44) contains an experimental
“bubble to access Google Search anytime.” When activated, this bubble snaps to the left or right edge of your screen and shows up over apps (not just your home screen). That said, you can drag it around your screen so it won’t obstruct apps, much a chat bubble or a picture-in-picture window.

When the bubble first appears, a prompt asks if you want to keep it or remove it. Dragging the bubble also presents two neat options—you can permanently deactivate it or temporarily hide it from your screen. The “hide button temporarily” option may come in handy if you want to focus on a task.

This new Search bubble seems pretty far in development, so it may get an official release soon. Of course, experimental features are never guaranteed to come out. Google tested a similar bubble last year and clearly scrapped the idea for what it’s building today.

Source: 9to5Google

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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