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Some people are seeing text in the Pixel Launcher search box

The change Google made in its Pixel Launcher is a small one, yet it has seemingly ruffled more than a few feathers.

Published onDecember 15, 2017

From time to time, Google likes to test design changes to its apps before either pushing those changes out to the masses or nixing them for something else. The Pixel Launcher is no exception, though the change the search giant made to it has been polarizing, to say the least.

Spotted by a few readers over at Android Police, it looks like Google is playing around with adding text to the search box above the capacitive buttons at the bottom. The text varies from person to person, with some seeing “Search…” while others see “Search apps and web…” The general idea, it seems, is to have people be aware of what you can do with the search box.

Based on comments I’ve read, though, most people are not huge fans of the changes. For one, it adds unnecessary clutter to a design that Google has simplified and cleaned up over the years. Also, some people don’t understand why Google would add that text in the first place, since they already understand what that search box is for.

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The Amazon Echo Show.

I haven’t seen the design change on my Pixel 2 XL, but I’m not as negative on it. The text appears faint, so at least it doesn’t stand out when navigating through the home screen. Also, and maybe this is just the optimist in me, Google might be doing this for people who don’t know that you can perform such functions with the search box.

Even so, the cynical side of me says that Google is doing this to calculate the volume of interaction with the search box and compare it to previous interface iterations.

Whatever the reason may be, the design change is like in A/B testing. In other words, not everyone sees the change and it’s not guaranteed that Google will officially push such an update to the masses. We’ll keep an eye out to see if that changes over time, but for now, let us know if you’ve seen the update and your thoughts on it in the comments below.

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