Google has announced a lot of new goodies at I/O 2017 so far this week, including Android Go and some Android O features. Not everything that’s making news at I/O is being announced on a stage, though.
An unreleased version of Google’s Pixel Launcher was spotted by 9to5Google at a Google I/O Sandbox demo. The Pixel phones were demoing Android’s Instant Apps feature, but they also included a version of the Pixel Launcher that looks a bit different than the one that Google currently offers.
The most notable change with this unreleased Pixel Launcher is the Google Search user interface. Rather than appearing as a pill-shaped button in the upper left corner of your screen, this Pixel Launcher has a gray bar that stretches across the entire screen and sits between your docked apps and the on-screen Android navigation buttons.
A second video shows the unreleased Pixel Launcher being used to search for Android Instant Apps.
There’s not a lot known about this Pixel Launcher and when or if it’ll be released to consumers. The new Google Search bar looks kind of strange sitting between the dock apps and on-screen navigation buttons, but that location would make it much easier to perform a search when you’re holding your phone, especially on the 5.5-inch and larger smartphone displays that are popular. We’ll just have to wait and see if Google ends up releasing this new Pixel Launcher to the public, like with Android O or new Pixel phones.