How to Add Any Widget to Android Oreo’s Expanded Dock

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Nova Launcher continues to push the boundary of features available to home screen launchers. While most users are waiting for their OEMs to send out the Android 8.0 update, Nova provides access to many of Android Oreo’s features to the 99.8% of devices currently using an older version. However, Nova tries not only to add new features but to improve their design.

A few weeks back, TelsaCoil Software released an update that added the search widget to the dock as found on the Pixel 2 lineup. Unlike the stock launcher with the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, Nova made the search widget optional so you could stick with the older dock design if you wanted. But now, they’ve improved on this feature by increasing the available widgets that can be placed in this position, so any 4 x 1 widget can be added to the expanded dock for easy access.

Enable Unknown Sources

This new feature is still in beta, and the easiest way to get the latest Nova beta is to sideload the update. So head to the security menu in your phone’s main Settings, which may be labeled “Security” or combined with another option (e.g., “Fingerprint & Security”), depending on your OEM skin. From there, enable the “Unknown Sources” option, and you’ll now be ready to sideload the Nova beta update.

Step 2Download Nova Launcher Beta

The new customizable expanded dock features require Nova Launcher beta 5.5 or higher, which is available for download on the developer’s official website. Use the link below to grab the APK installer file, then tap the Download completenotification and press “Install” when prompted.

  • Download the latest Nova Launcher beta from TeslaCoil (.apk)

Step 3Enable the Search Widget in the Dock

Once installed, open up Nova Launcher and long-press any empty space on the home screen. From there, choose “Settings,” then select “Dock” and choose the “Searchbar in dock” option. At this point, Nova will present you with two choices for the placement of the search bar.

If you wish to replicate the look of the Pixel 2 and 2 XL, choose “Below icons.” However, if you want your new widget above the current icons found in the dock, choose “Above icons.” Once selected, return to the home screen to see the newly expanded dock with the search widget.