Google might actually let you search with Bing in its own Pixel Launcher, proving miracles really can happen

Google Pixel 8
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • In a recent preview build of Android on the Google Pixel, a hidden setting relating to web search was spotted in the Pixel Launcher. 
  • This setting would allow you to swap out Google search in the Pixel Launcher for another, such as Microsoft Bing. 
  • Up to now, there's no official word on a release time frame this may appear. 

The default search engine on Android has been a point of much discussion and regulation in recent times, at least in parts of the world. But I'm not sure I ever saw this one coming. 

Spotted in a recent preview build of Android 14 on the Google Pixel by @Nail_Sadykov on the artist formerly known as Twitter (via Android Central), it looks as though Google is getting ready to add a setting to the Pixel Launcher to change up the search engine. To make it easy, it's just called "Search Engine."

Select the app you'll use to search the web. This will affect search and content on your home screen.

Android 14 QPR 2 Beta 3

This should mean that the default Google search on the home screen in the Pixel Launcher can be replaced with another of your choosing. Oh, say, like Microsoft Bing

The Pixel Launcher is actually pretty decent, but if you prefer not to use Google for your searching, then the unremovable bar on the home screen might well be frustrating. If this comes to pass, you should be able to swap that out for Bing, or DuckDuckGo, or whichever other search engine takes your fancy. Is Ask Jeeves still around? 

Of'd be extra nice if you could make it go away entirely. But we'll take what we can get. 

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A little surprising, but welcome 

That Google search bar on the Pixel Launcher could soon be a Bing search bar, instead.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

My first thought upon reading this information was that some kind of regulator must have got into Google. After all, Pixel Launcher is a Google app, so even in Europe, the company isn't obliged to offer the choice of an alternative within its own product. But on other Android phones here, you get the choice at setup over what you want to use. 

It's welcome though, and in the grand scheme, probably won't hit Google much, if at all. Google is still the most-used search engine by some margin, but I'm never against user choice. If you like the Pixel Launcher but want to search with Bing, why shouldn't you be able to do that? 

Android Central speculates that this could come in the next Pixel feature drop, expected in March. But whatever the reason, miracles do seem to happen. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at