The first Pixel smartphones 'Made by Google' have received some new features with the latest Pixel Launcher update. The new features, however, seem to be available via a server-side update from Google.
Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones last month received Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview build which brought a lot of bells and whistles from the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. In terms of Pixel Launcher, the update didn't bring all goodness of the new Pixel 2 devices.
With the new update, the Pixel Launcher on the original Pixel smartphones will now come with a rounded Search bar called Google bar widget which will be seen on the bottom of the home screen and will appear with "G" alphabet on the left of the screen. As before, the search bar remains across home screens, just like the dock. Other changes include the new app drawer which will now initiate search including your history apart from installed apps. The new server-side switch seems to be steadily rolling out to original Pixel and Pixel XL users which means it could take some time for the new Pixel Launcher features to show up.
Some of the other Pixel Launcher changes were announced alongside the Pixel 2 devices in October. The biggest change was said to be the placement of the search bar at the bottom of the home screen, below even the dock. The 'at a glance' section was also announced in October and it showed up at the top of the home screen, and showed upcoming events and other alerts including traffic updates and flight statuses.