Google app beta adds 'in apps' homescreen button for quicker searches of your phone's content

It also looks like the term 'Google Now' may be going away, with the company uniting its effort behind the new Google Assistant.

google app new logo
Credit: Derek Walter

Google may now be able to help you more quickly find that app you installed last week or a critical text conversation with a new “in apps” search button. 

The ability to search inside your apps is a recent addition to the Google app’s tool set, but the latest beta adds the ability to put a quick access button right on your home screen.  

If you’re on the beta, head to Google > Settings > In Apps. You’ll then see an option to add a button right to your home screen.

in apps search google

Google’s new search capability does a deeper search into the contents on your phone.

When you touch the new launch pad, you’ll be taken to a Google search bar that’s ready to find content from your phone. If you don’t want certain apps or details included in this search, you can change those up from the settings.

Another interesting tidbit is that the term “Google Now” may itself be going away. It’s no longer in the Google app’s settings that used to enable customization for these features. Instead, you’ll see Feed and Screen Search. The latter is essentially a new name for Now on Tap, which searches the contents of your screen when long pressing the home button.

The Feed is just the new name for the stream of cards that appear inside of the Google app. You can still customize the type of updates and reminders you get here.

Why this matters: The launch of Allo is the first appearance of the Google Assistant, which is likely to be the new powerhouse of Google’s search capabilities on your phone. Google Now was one of the first consumer products that sought to organize all your personal information into one handy package, but now Google does that in several other areas, most recently Trips. In essence, the technology behind Google Now is spreading across many of the company’s offerings.

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