Google is prepping a chat heads-style floating search shortcut

Google is prepping a chat heads-style floating search shortcut

Google is reportedly working on a new floating search shortcut that will let you quickly conduct a voice or text search from your phone’s homescreen. The search shortcut will appear as a chat head-style floating button that can be placed anywhere on the homescreen for easy access.

9to5Google recently spotted new strings of code about the upcoming Google Search shortcut in a teardown of version 12.44 beta of the Google Home app. The publication also shared a couple of screenshots showcasing what the floating search button might look like upon release.

Screenshots: 9to5Google

As you can see in the attached screenshots, the Google Search shortcut can be attached to the left or right edge of the homescreen like a chat head-style notification. However, you can’t place it within the homescreen grid like a widget. The shortcut includes two buttons that will let you quickly conduct either a voice or a text search. If you tap on the voice search button, you’ll be redirected to the non-Assistant voice search experience that supports music queries. It’s also worth noting that the floating search button can also appear as an overlay over any app.

Once the floating search shortcut rolls out with a future Google app update, it will bring up a prompt to highlight its availability and give you two options to either keep it on the home screen or remove it. If you decide to keep it initially but plan on removing it later, you’ll be able to drag and drop the shortcut to the bottom of the screen to either hide it temporarily or turn it off.

At the moment, Google hasn’t shared any details about the new floating search shortcut. Since the feature is currently in development, we can’t be sure when it will start rolling out to users. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s available in a stable update of the Google app.

Mishaal Rahman additionally reveals that you can try the floating search shortcut ahead of the official rollout by downloading Google App 12.44.17.29 on your device and launching the ‘com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.bubble.searchbubble.ui.OptinAlertDialogActivity’ activity.

Featured image credit: Mishaal Rahman

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Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.