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Third-party launchers gain new “universal search” API on Android 12

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Third-party launchers gain new “universal search” API on Android 12

We are still months away from the final release of Android 12 that is expected around September, but the first and second Developer Previews have already begun to show us a number of changes and upgrades being worked on by Google. From one-handed mode to privacy indicators, Android 11 brings improvements across the board.

Read more: Niagara Launcher gets revamped weather widget, Android 11 animation support

According to XDA, the next version of Android could also bring a major upgrade for third-party launcher which could allow them to plug into the previously discovered “universal search” feature seen on the Pixel Launcher on the Developer Preview. This search widget allows users to locate contacts and settings by simply entering a few terms. However, until now, it appeared that the feature would only work on the built-in Pixel Launcher.

One of the perks of using an Android device is the ability to set a third-party launcher as your default “launcher” to replace the manufacturer’s home screen. The feature was first spotted by the team behind third-party home screen app Niagara Launcher, in the documentation for the Android 12 preview, which suggests that the company might add an API to allow third-party launchers to integrate the universal search feature.

Also read: Google is limiting Android 11 apps from seeing other apps installed on devices

If this sounds familiar, you are probably an iPhone, Samsung or OnePlus smartphone user — or you use Nova Launcher, the most popular third-party Android launcher with the Sesame search plugin. All of the above-mentioned brands and apps have the ability to perform searches across the system. However, having the ability to be able to search for content, settings, documents and other items like contacts – while remaining completely offline, is something that should be on all Android devices.

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