Google Alters Microphone Icon Function on Pixel Launcher Search Bar

What you should know

  • The Pixel 2 XL had a feature called Active Edge which allowed users to summon Google Assistant by squeezing the sides of the phone’s bottom half.
  • Google has removed the feature that allowed users to access Google Assistant by tapping on the microphone icon in the Pixel Launcher’s search bar. Now, tapping on the icon brings up Google Search results based on user queries.
  • Users can still access Google Assistant on their Pixel phones by tapping the Assistant icon on the home screen, installing the Google Assistant app from the Play Store, saying “Hey Google,” or long-pressing the power button.
  • Even iOS users can choose between Google Search and Google Assistant by installing the respective apps from the App Store. Google Assistant is considered superior to Siri in terms of answering questions.

Full Story

Ah, the Pixel 2 XL. It’s a model that’s still held in high regard by many. One of its coolest features? The Active Edge. You could summon Google Assistant by just giving the bottom half of the phone a squeeze.

But hey, not having that feature wasn’t really a biggie for most Pixel users. After all, they could just tap the microphone icon in the search bar at the bottom of the Pixel Launcher. But, here’s the kicker – Google’s taking that away.

According to the folks at 9to5Google, tapping the microphone icon in the Pixel Launcher’s search bar now brings up search results based on your queries. It’s all about getting you answers quickly, with website links included. Google Assistant, on the other hand, is more about conversations rather than website links to get your tasks done and queries answered.

Google did tinker with this change earlier this year, but then it was like it never happened. Until now, that is.

Now, tapping the microphone icon on the Pixel Launcher brings up Google Search, not Google Assistant. But don’t worry, there are still other ways to open Google Assistant on your Pixel. You can tap the Assistant icon on the home screen, for instance.

Don’t have the Google Assistant app pre-installed on your Pixel or Android phone? No problem, just install it from the Play Store. You can follow the directions after tapping this link. Or, you can just say “Hey Google”. To set this up on your Pixel, go to Settings > Apps > Assistant > Hey Google & Voice Match. Just make sure that Hey Google & Voice Match is toggled on.

On your Pixel, you can also activate Google Assistant by long-pressing the power button found on the upper right side of the phone. And if you want to use Google Search on a Pixel, you can now tap the microphone icon on the search bar. Or, you can open the Google app and use the microphone on the app’s search bar.

Even iOS users can choose between Google Search and Google Assistant. The Google Assistant app can be installed on iOS via this App Store listing. The Google app can be installed from the App Store by tapping on this link.

And here’s a fun fact – Google Assistant is superior to Siri when it comes to answering questions. So, when I do get a new iPhone, one of the first things I do is install the Google Assistant app on the phone.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Phone News