Google Pixel
Google seems to be in the process of altering the notification panel of Android OS. Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

Google appears to be modifying the notification panel of its Android OS. And the first big change could be the addition of the quick search bar in the panel, so users would then have the option to do quick searches when the notification panel is still hovering the phone’s interface.

This Wednesday, Android Police’s Cody Toombs reported about the latest discovery he made after performing an APK teardown of Google app 7.1 beta. According to Toombs, he found a string that says “Show quick search bar in the notification panel” in the new beta. Though the setting is not live yet, it is said to already be hinting at what Google plans to do next to its notification panel.

Because the string is specifically worded to convey that the search bar is in the notification panel, this could mean that a quick search tile could be the next feature to be added to the panel. It could be placed underneath the toggles, and it could also be something that won’t appear as a regular notification in the panel. Toombs thinks that this could also be a bar that will be placed between the actual notifications and the quick settings tiles.

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While it’s strange that Google has all of a sudden decided to incorporate the quick search bar to the notification panel, Toombs says this might be a clue to the company’s plan of modifying the panel. He also noted that this could signal the possibility that Google would henceforth allow app developers to create something for the notification panel, such as full-width widgets.

It wasn’t clear if Google also plans to do some changes to the search bar on the Android launcher since the addition of the search feature in the notification panel would just be redundant. Besides, users can also summon Assistant by long-pressing the Home button.