Google’s Android is one of the most widely ecosystem available on over a billion active devices. The open-source nature of Android makes it easy to depute on different kind of devices and also vulnerable to a large number of bugs. A recent report claimed that most Android devices come with complementary malware pre-installed on the device and now a weird glitch has surfaced that causes the Google app to display your text messages instead of search results.
A Reddit user stumbled upon the glitch when looking for a website using the search bar on the Pixel Launcher. The glitch was identified when the Reddit user typed on their search. Instead of typing the band’s website ‘the1975.com,’ the Reddit user ended up adding an extra period and searched for ‘the1975..com.’ The search ended up in a result that showed the user’s text messages instead of Google search results.
Interestingly, the glitch seems to be related only to ‘the1975..com’ and not other similar search queries. The search also did not turn up any results when queried with the1976..com or the1974..com. When we made the same search query on a Pixel 2 running Android P beta, the search result did show text messages.
The result shown by Google Search is not new and is the same text message summary that can be invoked by asking Google to show your text messages. It also requires permissions for Google Search to access your messages which can be disabled if you want to. The feature works by pulling in the sender’s number along with the entire message’s text and a button to reply to that text.
When you tap on either the messag or the reply button, it takes you back to the handset’s default SMS application. According to 9to5Google, the bug appears on other smartphones including the OnePlus 6 running OxygenOS based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The Reddit user claims to have found the bug on a Google Pixel and the glitch does not seem to be limited to Pixel launcher on Google’s Pixel smartphones.
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The issue seems to be around pulling text messages using the Google Search application. There is a possibility that Google will limit this particular search query from accessing the messages option, which should further stop text messages from appearing. Google has not confirmed the bug and when it plans to fix it.