Google announced Slices, a framework that allows developers to surface a part of their applications in places like Google Search at I/O 2018. The feature did not become available immediately and now it has started appearing for some Pixel users. A server-side update is enabling Slices for Pixel users on Android 9 Pie, and it allows users to enable certain settings or features by typing their name in the Google Search bar directly. For instance, if you go to Google Search bar and type Bluetooth, you will see among your search history, a gear icon right next to the word “Bluetooth” allowing you to toggle it ON or OFF without having to go to the individual setting option.
In addition to Bluetooth, the slices feature is also available for settings such as Wi-Fi but only when you type it as Wi-Fi. The settings icon can be seen as a live toggle alongside the setting option that allows users to quickly enable or disable Wi-Fi on your phone. When you look up for Wi-Fi, the slices option also shows the name of the network that your handset is connected to. Prior to this update, the setting icon would appear without the toggle switch and Google said the feature will work on Android phones running version 4.4 KitKat but seems to have gone live only on Android 9 Pie for now.
The Slices feature is also enabled for adaptive brightness but the quick toggle is not available for a setting like NFC, which is not widely used on smartphones. Google introduced Slices as a feature that will simplify life for Android users when they wish to quickly enable or disable a particular setting on their smartphone. The feature will essentially eliminate the need for users to go through multiple settings pages before they get to the toggle for main setting function.
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Apart from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggle, Google is also promoting Slices for Brightness Level on smartphones but it is yet to appear on our Pixel 3 XL. Slices will not be limited to stock apps and will extend to third party apps as well. For example, if you type Uber in the Google Search bar, Slices will surface live options allowing you to schedule a ride without having to open the app. It needs to be seen when third-party apps adopt the feature but in the meantime it does seem to be a great option for those moments when you get tired to moving through pages to enable a simple function.