Google Makes It Easier to Customise Its Search Widget on Android

What was a multi-step process, now just takes two taps

Google Makes It Easier to Customise Its Search Widget on Android

The Google Search widget lets you access the search app on non-Pixel devices.

Highlights
  • The customisation feature has been available since 2018
  • The widget launches the Google Search app
  • The feature is mainly aimed at non-Pixel smartphones

Google's Search widget received its customisation feature back in 2018 when the latest Pixel device was the Pixel 2 XL and the latest version of Android was Pie (9.0). Users could always customise the Google Search widget to their liking, but a new update is making it easier to customise it without digging into the Google app's settings. Those on the non-beta version of Google's Search app (version 13.40 or higher) will now be able to customise the widget directly from the home screen.

We at Gadgets360 have received the update on our Pixel 7 Pro review unit, which recently got upgraded to version 13.40.7.29 and is not a part of the beta. At the same time, our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review unit is stuck on version 13.38.11.26 (after the recent Play Store update) and hence does not reflect this capability. Those who are using the beta version of Google app installed via the Play Store will be able make changes on the home screen itself as it has been updated to version 13.40.7.29.

With the new update, users will now be able to long-press on the Google Search widget and enter the customisation mode directly. This reduces the need to open the Google app in the App Drawer, tap on profile image, then tap Settings> Search widget> Customise widget and then access the customisation settings. The new update basically gets you there with a long-press on the widget, which now shows the widget settings button (represented by a pencil). Tapping on it gets you into the Customise menu where users can tweak the ‘Google' or ‘G' logo, the shape of the widget, bar colour (adjust hue and saturation levels), and bar shading (see-through or solid).

While the new button makes it a lot easier to access the customisation menu for the Google Search widget, it's mainly aimed at smartphones from other manufacturers apart from a Pixel. This is because Google's Pixel smartphones already have a non-removable capsule-shaped (non-customisable) search widget at the bottom of the home screen. Google's new theming engine automatically changes the colour of this Search widget as per the colour palette selected by the user for the system theme, so there's really no need to customise it any further, at least in terms of colour.


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Sheldon Pinto
Sheldon Pinto is based in Mumbai, and has several years of experience in reviewing smartphones and gadgets. As a Senior Reviewer at Gadgets 360, you will always find him deeply immersed in his reviews, switching from one phone to another. When the battery dies out, Sheldon is always browsing the web for a good sci-fi movie or reading up on cars and bikes. He also loves creating lists of interesting places to eat and travel. Sheldon is available on Twitter at @shellshocd, and you can mail him at ...More
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