If tapping the search bar and typing a search term inside the Google Search app seems painfully slow on your Android device, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there’s an easy — albeit experimental — fix that can speed up those searches significantly, and all you have to do is disable a built-in system app to do it.
According to a few enterprising posters at Reddit and a bug report over at the Android project at Google Code, the reason Google searches can be so slow inside the Google App is because the “Search Applications Provider” utility built into Android is poorly optimised. It hangs trying to bring up other built-in applications that can handle search or match the search term you’re typing, which slows down your phone and keeps your actual Google results from appearing. To fix the problem, you just have to disable that app:
- Tap the menu button and select settings.
- Select Apps, then swipe over to All Apps.
- Scroll down to Search Applications Provider. Tap it, then tap Disable.
You’ll get a warning that some other apps may misbehave, and that’s a fair warning — not everyone in the Reddit thread linked below had great results, and some people reported issues. On the whole though, the general reaction is positive, and most people saw speedier Google searches as a result. I tested it out on two devices, and I saw the same effect in both cases that most people in the thread reported: my first search after disabling the utility was a bit slow, but after that, results were almost instantaneous, and much faster than before.
As with anything like this, your mileage may vary depending on the version of Android you’re running and the device you own, but it’s worth a shot and fairly harmless. If you have issues, you can always re-enable the app (it will be at the bottom of the list, with other disabled apps). If it works for you, the benefit is pretty significant.