OnePlus Scout replaces the app finder search field that currently resides at the top of the apps drawer, accessed by swiping up on the bottom of the home screen on recent OnePlus phones.
Searching using Scout checks your apps tray for results, as before, but the 'universal' aspect means it also pulls in web search results and news stories, whilst also scouring your files, contacts, documents and music (it looks as though it won't search your messages by design). It even allows for simple integrated actions - like making a quick calculation or checking the weather, all from one place.
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According to Tech Radar, the feature was developed at OnePlus' R&D facility in Hyderabad, India and for the time being, testing remains exclusive to users in India, specifically.
If you're interested in gaining early access to Scout and you're in India, you'll need to opt-in to the beta version of the OnePlus launcher via the Google Play Store. Provided you've updated the launcher to version v4.7.2_200818175549 you should then discover a setup screen for Scout and a dedicated settings menu that lets you refine the results based on the sources Scout looks through.
It's assumed that once enough beta testers have provided OnePlus with positive feedback about Scout's functionality, it'll work on implementing the feature in the public release of OxygenOS, although it's unclear whether this will remain an India-exclusive feature or be made available to OnePlus users in other markets too.
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