The Google Search app has been getting a lot of love from its developers lately. The beta version is currently testing an incomplete dark mode while the stable release has seen the addition of the account switcher we see in many other Google apps. Recently, another new feature has rolled out to many users – the app now includes an incognito mode, depicted in the screenshot above as "Use without an account."
The feature works just as you would expect it to. Once you hit the button, you're signed out of your Google account and can search without worrying about having the results tied to your history. Also, your previous searches won't show up in the Recents tab while incognito.
This new mode also has implications on other parts of the Google app, however. Assistant will greet you as a new user, and won't show you your personal content anymore – you won't be able to stream content to your Cast-equipped smart home devices, for example. The Discover feed will be empty, and your search suggestions won't show up as well. As soon as you sign back into your account, all your content will be right back, so you don't need to worry about setting your phone up again.
Like a brand new phone. Notice the blue icon on the top right replacing your profile picture.
Other Google apps are not affected by this mode. Photos will continue to back up your images, and YouTube has an unrelated incognito mode of its own. Thus, keep in mind that using Google search without an account won't hinder websites you visit from showing up in your Chrome history and that cookies saved to the browser will also continue tracking you.
Since this appears to be a server-side update, the new option shows up across a variety of Google app versions, ranging back to 9.0.5 (that's as far as we went in our testing). If you'd still like to be up to date, you can download the latest release in the widget below or over at APK Mirror.
- Henny Roggy,
- Zachary Kew-Denniss,
- Gurkanwal Singh