Google's Pixel 3 devices will apparently herald a redesign of the Pixel Launcher's search bar widget if some new changes found in the app's code make it to the software's final cut. Discovered by XDA Developers, the new U.I. for both the standard search bar and the bottom-bar somehow manages to be both subtle and obvious. That's because it maintains its rounded edges and icon and, as a result, its familiarity. The functionality of the search bar is not at all likely to change. Having said that, the standard text-entry box and the voice-search microphone section are now set completely apart into their own respective bubbles with a clear gap in the middle. The tool in question has historically been presented as a single widget, with taps on different parts of that widget launching one of the two uses. The goal appears to be to create a sense of separation, making choosing between using voice or typing in a query more intuitively obvious.
Generally speaking, the redesign still looks close enough to the original that it shouldn't cause too much of an uproar among Pixel enthusiasts while appearing different enough to really add to whatever other freshness Google plans to bring to its launcher. However, it's not immediately clear whether any devices other than the as-yet-unannounced Pixel 3 and presumably Pixel 3 XL will ever get to use the new widget. The code itself, which leads off with "pixel_2018" seems to indicate that this could ultimately be specific to those handsets. That wouldn't be altogether unusual since Google's branded devices have gone their own way with some features, as compared to other stock Android smartphones in the past.
Bearing that in mind, the source is a veritable hotbed for mods and custom software – with or without root – and has said that at least one developer is working on updating an aftermarket version of Pixel Launcher to include the change. There's no official timeframe for when that will happen but anybody interested in taking advantage of that will probably want to keep an eye out for it. That may not even be necessary since other top-rated reskinning and launcher applications available for Android will undoubtedly follow suit as news about the U.I. redesign spreads.