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Original Pixel phones on Android 8.1 gain Pixel 2 features in latest update

The 2016 Pixel phones on the Android 8.1 dev preview are getting a new feature that has previously been exclusive to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Published onNovember 22, 2017

The original Pixel phones are getting a new feature, as long as they’re running the Android 8.1 developer preview. Google launched a preview of Android 8.1 Oreo last month, which brought some previously Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL exclusive features to its predecessors. The At a Glance widget, transparent app drawer, and search bar placed between the icons in the dock and the navigation buttons all made an appearance. But, there were some differences left to be reconciled. Now Google is pushing an update to begin that work.

The biggest difference was how search worked in the app drawer. The search bar on the original Pixel and Pixel XL would return just apps that match your search. But, the search bar on the Pixel 2 would suggest past searches and return web results, as well as apps. It’s a more unified search experience that combines the app drawer and desktop search experience. This new look is also available when you launch the search bar from the home screen.

In addition to some new functionality, the search bar is getting a facelift. Once the update hits your device, you’ll notice that it now has rounded corners and has the “G” logo on the left side. This matches how the search bar appears on the Pixel 2.

The update is starting to roll out today for Pixel and Pixel XL owners on the Android 8.1 developer preview. It comes in the form of a server-side update so if you don’t see it yet, just wait a bit and should come through.

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