It seems like Android 12 may bring a rather interesting functionality, a universal search from third-party launchers. This information has been brought to light by Android Police, after the developers of Niagara Launcher discovered it.
Universal search from third-party launchers could make its way to Android 12
Such search has been reserved for Google’s own launcher and widget, but it may be spreading its wings with Android 12. In the Pixel Launcher, you can search through both apps and web results at the same time.
Third-party launchers, at the moment, can’t do this within their own list of apps. Let’s take Nova Launcher as an example. It has universal search, but it can’t offer results for anything except entries from your own apps, the ones you’ve installed on your phone.
Now, do note that Sesame Search can change that, but it’s not as seamless as it should be, which is why many people don’t use it still. Android 12 may change that, though.
The Niagara Launcher developers shared the information via Twitter. The “AppSearchManager” API entry, based on its documentation, does allow any app to activate the “AppSearch” index. This may even include actions within the app.
Such functionality would enable advanced search functions
What does that mean? Well, it may allow you to search within Google Docs for something specific. It may also allow you to find a specific photo in your gallery. In other words, this change could enable some powerful search capabilities in any third-party launcher.
Do note that this functionality is not yet live in the current Android 12 Developer Preview. It may be enabled in the upcoming Developer Previews, or perhaps Beta builds. Alternatively, Google may wait for the stable build to enable it, or scrap it altogether.
Considering that the company did change things, we do expect this to make its way to the stable Android 12 build, at the very least. It would certainly be a very welcomed change. The stable Android 12 build is expected to drop in August.