In his teardown of the Google app 7.12, Cody uncovered a customizable Google Search bar was in the making and it's been showing up here and there for some, but the latest Google app beta version 7.14.15 finally brings it to life for everyone.
The new Search bar widget looks pretty much the same as the old one, so you'd be forgiven for missing it. The main change is an overflow menu on the right that lets you choose a Customize option. Tap that and you're taken into a new UI where the search bar is dropped in the middle of the screen with a white menu of 4 options below it.
Note: I changed my wallpaper to a solid blue one in the 2nd screenshot, to better show the widget.
The first one lets you pick the bar logo (full Google or just the G icon), the second has 3 different bar shapes (quasi-rectangle, more rounded rectangle, and stadium shape). The third has color themes (white and multicolor, black and white, inverted, and a color picker with all the possible colors) and the fourth one has a transparency slider. You can see all the different options in the screenshots below.
Third-party launchers like Nova and Action have offered a customizable Google search widget for a while, but it's interesting to see Google do it officially. The company hasn't been exactly open to personalization in many of its services and options lately, but maybe this and the Pixel 2's automatic dark/light themes are good signs for the future.
You should be able to see the new widget when you update to the Google app beta 7.14.15, but if you don't, make sure you're using the default search bar widget from the Google app and not some third-party one from your launcher. You can grab the beta for your device from APK Mirror if it hasn't rolled out to you yet on the Play Store.
- Nicola Hinssen