How can I block the google app search bar widget

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Is there any way to block the google search bar widget on an Android device (Galaxy S3)?  I was recently made aware that although the browsers are all blocked, it is possible to make a search in the widget.  The search results come up, and it is possible to see and select "All" "Images" "Videos", etc.  The blocking only kicks in when you try to land on a specific page, but the images are all available.  
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Jonathan Burkholder

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Posted 4 years ago

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John, Official Rep

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Hey Jonathan,

Unfortunately that particular widget is not separated out from the Operating System as far as Android is concerned. We can still monitor what occurs during usage of the search widget, but we are currently unable to tell Android to deny access to it.
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TheKneeland

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Hey Jonathan,
There is a way to do it, but it is a big inconvenience to the Covenant Eyes (CE) user. This is because you have to disable the settings on the phone to truly lock it down. It's not CE's fault that this is the only way either, it's the way Android is built (rooting your phone is another option, I've done it with my tablet and it's much easier but voids warranty).

Option 1 - w/ locking settings: 
Go into the system settings and disable the "Google Search" app on the system. You can't actually fully uninstall it (without rooting the phone), but you can disable it. On my Galaxy S5 these are the steps: Settings > Applications > Application Manager > get to "all" apps > Google Search > Disable (at the top right). Now, I have many others disabled which my accountability partner found can be used as back doors, though CE may monitor some of these I choose remove all web browsing access (These are disabled: Amazon, Amazon Music, Amazon Appstore, Chrome, Cloud, Flipboard, Galaxy Essentials, Google+, IMDb, NFL Mobile, Samsung updates, Slacker Radio, Verizon Tones, YouTube)

Once you've disabled Google Search you can open CE and use it's app blocking ability to disable settings. Now there is no way for any disabled app to work unless the accountability partner unlocks settings again.

This is a big drawback for changing system settings, but I've found that I'm still able to get onto networks and connect to Bluetooth with the quick settings that swipe down from the top of the screen.

Option 2 - w/ out locking settings:
Follow the steps above, but don't disable settings. Tell the CE user that if the accountability partner see's that Google Search has been re-enabled and used full guilt will be concluded immediately.

Different levels of accountability, filtering, or complete temptation removal work differently for different people. For me, though it may not be necessary, I've concluded failure in this area is not worth anything in this life... including having a smart phone. So I've locked everything down completely and don't even have a browser. No temptation = no failure. So I have email and selected apps that I've had others search for back doors. Honestly, there are a lot of good apps out there we can enjoy without web access.

Anyway. I hope this helps. Or at least gives something to think about.
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Jonathan Burkholder

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Thanks to both of you.  I appreciate the information.  
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Jesse Erwin

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Try using a different home launcher, such as Nova, or Trebuchet.