The Google Search Bar is apparently getting a new transparent sub-widget, with some users reporting that information like Weather, or Google Maps prompts from Google Feed (you know, what used to be Google Now) showing up.
There’s multiple reports of the new widget, reddit user navjot94 posted screenshots he received showing weather in Detroit, while Android Police has also posted screenshots of the widget showing a Google Maps prompt to get to work. The transparent panel can be swiped away or closed with a tap on the X if it’s in your way.
The update appears to be tied to the Google App, with recent beta users getting an update to version 18.104.22.168. Google introduced a Beta channel for their Google App in October last year to allow interested users to test out upcoming new features before they hit wider release.
The widget appears to be controlled from a setting in the Google App Settings menu which is showing up for some users with the right version of the Google App Beta and seemingly the blessing of Google – as in it’s possibly a limited test.
It’s an interesting new way to deliver information to users without having to swipe to a whole other screen, or to some users who haven’t got the Google Now launcher but do have the search widget. Hopefully this one rolls out a bit further.