Android 12 is already in the works, and it is expected to bring new functionalities and features for the world’s most popular mobile operating system. It seems like the upcoming version of Android OS will bring an interesting functionality, a new universal search to third-party launchers. This functionality is currently reserved and available on Google’s own launcher and widget, but will soon be coming to all third-party launchers with Android 12.
According to the developers of Niagara Launcher, they’ve discovered a new “AppSearchManager” API entry that allows any application to activate the centralized AppSearch index. The capability is similar to the one we see on Windows and macOS, bringing more powerful local search tools to Android devices. A similar search feature is already available in the standard search function of the iOS. But now, as per the latest report, the universal search function is also coming to Android with the release of Android 12 in near future.
Universal Search from Third-Party Launchers
As said before, the universal search functionality has been reserved for Google’s own launcher and widget, which gives the ability to search through both the installed apps and web search results at once. What this means is that when you search for something from the Google widget placed on your screen, it accesses both Google web search data and the list of installed apps on your phone. But third-party launchers cannot do this within their own list of apps. But now, this capability is reported to be coming to all launchers and apps as per the documentation for Android 12.
As per the report, the “AppSearchManager” API entry has been found in the Android 12 documentation that will allow any app to activate the AppSearch index, most likely even actions within the app. While this functionality is available on the current Google Search widget on any launcher, but it is said to be still limited and rarely works correctly. But Google bringing this to third-party launchers with its new API will make the Android search even better and smooth.
Note that this AppSearchManager tool is not yet implemented on the Android 12 Developer Preview but may soon be added in the coming weeks.