Code from the Google App version 7.1.21 beta has hinted at what could be in store for the next updates. The strings, discovered by Android Police, indicate that Google could be about to introduce a pollen counter to the app and add a search bar to the notification area.
Google already delivers weather updates for users, warning them if they’re in for heavy rain and suchlike, so it makes sense that it would also include a pollen counter — and launching it ahead of this summer would be good news for hay fever sufferers.
The notion of the search bar being added to the notification area is a little murkier. The wording in the code snippets suggests that this won’t be a tile like the Wi-Fi or screen rotate options found there, for example, but an actual search box.
Google search is already accessible from your home screen on Pixel handsets, and previous phones like the recent Nexus devices have a search box across the top of every page — it’s not like search is in a hard-to-reach spot. I don’t see how pulling down the notification window to access would be so different from pressing the home button to access it, either, so for now there’s a question mark over this.
The above is all just speculation based on the latest beta version of the app and there’s no guarantee that these features would appear in a future build. Still, a pollen counter would be handy sooner or later.
These features aren’t live in the beta app yet, but if you’d like to sign up to become a tester, you can do so at the link.