On Android 13 stable, the Unified Pixel Launcher search vanishes; a patch is on the way

Beta users of Android 13 could discover that the new, unified Pixel Launcher search experience is no longer present after installing today’s stable edition of the operating system.

The integration of web and device search is one of Android 13’s best features on Pixel smartphones. The box that now displays at the top of the app grid is the same as the search bar that was previously located at the bottom of your homescreen.

All of our devices lost unified search after upgrading from Android 13 Beta 4.1 to the stable release. This applies to both phones who received the small on-device OTA from Beta 4.1 to stable and phones that received the upgrade manually sideloaded. This problem is present on a number of Pixel 4a, 6, 6 Pro, and 6a devices.

The fact that the search boxes are no longer identical and that the G logo, microphone, and Google Lens icon have been removed from the app drawers bar are unmistakable signs of this regression. The actual homescreen experience reverts to the outdated one without Material You stylings.

L: New; R: Ancient

This evening, Google informed us that the problem has been identified and would be fixed in a future update. Since there hasn’t been any end user activity or app update, it is hoped that a server-side repair can reverse the situation.

Users of the Android 13 Beta had unified search during the duration of the preview and temporarily following an update to the stable release. After some time has passed or after a device reset, the new UI vanishes automatically.

Google has a remedy for the issue where users of Android 13 Beta cannot sideload the OTA because the image is older than the Beta 4.1 patch. This afternoon, the on-device (Check for OTA) update is being extensively distributed.

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