Android 13 Has A Thoughtful New Search Phrase Shortcut Feature

android 12 app drawer search
During Google I/O 2022 last week, Alphabet rolled out Android 13 Beta 2, and it has some interesting new features that enhance the look of the OS and make search functionality more user friendly.

The new beta version of the Android operating system has two rather notable updates. First, there has been some fine tuning of animations where Google's engineers felt it necessary, which effectively make Android feel more fluid and responsive, according to early reports.

The other major change is an update to the default search behavior. Specifically there's a change to the home and app drawer search features. Before this beta version, when searching from the home screen it would include a web search along with results from your apps. But, if you searched via the app drawer it would only search through your apps. Now the search experience is more uniform across both. Both the drawer and your home screen will include web and app search. Additionally, Android 13 also allows users to preserve a search as a shortcut on the home screen. This could be particularly handy if you often find yourself repeatedly searching for the same thing.

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Android 13 Search with animation for storing Search Shortcut

These are, of course, not the only updates, there are a few new functions, like the ability to sync photos between Android devices and Chromebooks. There is also Predictive Back Gesture, which provides better visual feedback when utilizing Back functions on the device. There are also more resources for app languages. Lastly, new permissions to use exact alarms have been added.

As with any version update there are also some bug fixes and security updates worked in. Some of the updates are exclusive to the beta series that fix issues from Beta 1 to Beta 2. Others are actually odd hold-over fixes, such as a crash that happens on Pixel 6 phones if they have more than 300 apps installed.

If you have a Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 4a (5G), 5, 5a, 6, or 6 Pro, you can try out the new beta now. However, keep in mind, it is still a beta and should be considered unstable. For most users we'd discourage running beta versions as "daily drivers" when it comes to personal phones, especially if they are critical for work or staying in communication with loved ones. Still, if you want to get a preview, you can, just be aware of the risk of some instability on your device.