Mobility

How to search your Android device quickly with Google Gesture Search

Need an easier way to search for all the things you have tucked within your Android device? The perfect solution might be Google Gesture Search.

googlesearchhero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

If you're constantly dragging your finger through seemingly endless lists of contacts, apps, bookmarks, settings, etc., you know how time-consuming it can be. When you need to find something quickly on your Android device, you should turn to the incredibly user-friendly and handy Google Gesture Search.

With this app, you can draw a single character and get a quick list of matching items on your device. When you find what you're looking for, tap it to launch. If you don't find what you're looking for, keep drawing. It really is that simple.

SEE: Android Marshmallow: The smart person's guide

Installing Google Gesture Search

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your device.
  2. Search for google gesture search.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by Google.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. Read the permissions listing carefully.
  6. If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap ACCEPT.
  7. Allow the installation to complete.

Once installed, you'll find a launcher in either your App Drawer or on your home screen. Tap the launcher to fire up Google Gesture Search.

Using Google Gesture Search

Upon first launch, you'll be greeted with the Settings window, which is where you'll configure the categories you want Google Gesture Search to index. Select what you want included and tap Done (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen

Google Gesture Search initial Setup.

After tapping Done, Google Gesture Search will index your device (this shouldn't take too long). When the indexing completes, you are ready to go. On the main window, draw the first character of what you're looking for and then tap the result you want (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
Google Gesture Search running on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

To clear a search, tap the X at the bottom right corner of the screen and start another search.

If you tap the menu button (three vertical dots in the upper right corner), you can re-configure the items you want to include in the search, as well as change the writing speed and even activate Google Gesture Search with motion. Note: Enabling the Activate With Motion feature is not worth the battery drain when you can just add a launcher on your home screen.

Give it a try already

If your phone is bursting at the seams with stuff, you should consider putting Google Gesture Search to good use — it will help you find the things you need much faster.

If you're already using Google Gesture Search, tell us in the comments what you think of the app.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox