I used to have a HTC Hero with had it's own search button. When being in the application selection menu I could press the button and then search for an app by typing it's name. Is there similar way to access apps in Android 4.x without a specific search button?

3 Answers 3


The Google Search app is able to search the applications on your phone. On 4.1+ this can be done through a Google Now search. On many devices, this is accessible by swiping upwards from the home button in the navigation bar.

When you search for the app on your phone, you can use the bar along the bottom to scroll to "Phone" to search your phone rather than the web.

You can also search "start " so for example if I had an app called (in your case) "Battery", if I typed into the search bar "start battery" it would give me a card showing the app name and icon with a button below saying "Open App"

  • If I search "Battery" in 4.4.4 it doesn't show me the App that I installed that named "Battery" but suggests a websearch.
    – Christian
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 16:24
  • When you start a search along the bottom of the screen you should see "Web Images Maps..." etc, if you scroll through that list, one of them should be "Phone" usually the last one. then you will get a section called "Apps" that shows all the apps with your search term in the title of the app.
    – cnfw
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 16:35
  • Also if you type "start <app name>" it will give you a card with the option to open the app. So in your case search "start battery" and the top card should say the app name "battery", with the icon on the right, and a button below saying "Open App"
    – cnfw
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 16:37

Try google gesturesearch using this you can not only search for an application but also contacts,music and bookmarks.

This has a cool feature that you can use natural hand writing to type the app name and keypad is not needed.


There is an option in Google Search / Now settings to allow you to search through apps as well as web (Go to Google Now settings, there you'll see phone search, open it and tick Apps)

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