The search function of the Pixel Launcher uses Google search by default, although this really shouldn’t be surprising. This feature allows users to search not just the web, but for content on their phones and it’s pretty useful. But in case you prefer using a different search engine, that could soon be possible.
A post on X by @Nail_Sadykov has revealed that in an upcoming update to the Pixel Launcher, users may soon be able to choose something other than Google search. The post shares a screenshot where there appears to be an option for users to choose a different search engine to use as its default.
Pixel Launcher will soon allow you to choose the default web 'Search engine'.
The app build that comes with Android 14 QPR2 Beta 3 contains a hidden search settings item called "Search Engine". This feature will allow you to choose an app for the web search. pic.twitter.com/EbbCCd6bvX
— Наиль Садыков (@Nail_Sadykov) January 11, 2024
This means that if you prefer using something more privacy focused like DuckDuckGo, you can. This will most likely not impact local search, but will be more for searches you do on the web. The change was spotted in the recently launched Android 14 QPR 2 Beta 3. Users not part of the beta won’t be able to see it just yet.
It’s an interesting move on Google’s end since search is one of the company’s core products. It is possible that with all the antitrust allegations Google is facing, giving users the option to change the search engine on the Pixel Launcher could be their way to appease regulators.
These changes aren’t live yet so it is unclear how exactly this will work, so we’ll have to wait for its public release to get a better idea.