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Google App Updates Galore: Hangouts, Cloud Print, Maps, Search, and More

If Google decides to push out a bunch of updates to their suite of apps on any given day, Wednesdays are usually a good bet. Sure enough, we are seeing all sorts of apps receive updates today (Hangouts, Cloud Print, Google Search, Maps, Newsstand, and more), most of which don’t have changelogs or haven’t arrived on anyone’s device due to our favorite thing in the industry, staged rollouts for updates. Thankfully, this is the internet, which means that some people are bound to be a part of that initial wave. Some of those delightful people also like to share their treasures.

Below, we’ve started a list of the apps that are being updated, along with download links and changelogs (as we have them). We will try to update this throughout the day. 


Google Drive

  • New 1×1 widget for faster document scanning
  • Support for animated GIFs
  • Bug fixes

Google Search

  • No official changelog, but we’re now seeing a Google Now Launcher if you have a Nexus 5 or the Google Experience Launcher (GoogleHome.apk)  installed on your device.
  • Pretty sure that the “TV & video” section in the magic wand in Google Now is new as well.

Google Play Newsstand

  • After updating, we’re seeing new “Mini cards” and a widget.

Hangouts, Google Maps, Cloud Print

  • Nothing major listed yet


  • tom curb
  • Hello
    i’ve a motox tmobile
    i’ve update today to 4.4.2 with OTA
    i’ve installed play services, google drive, google now launcher, but now when i try to install (or update via play store) cloud print i got error…

    someone had the same issue?
    did you solve?

  • yungqb7

    Still waiting for hangouts to do messaging correctly. Even though I use it as my default messaging app, it still has quite a way to go unfortunately

  • Erik

    I really hope they make the Google Experience Launcher/Google Now Launcher available to other devices.

  • Ali

    i really hate how in hangouts you can’t send a picture after you start writing out some text. i find myself deleting everything i had typed out to just add a picture and then type everything back out or just paste it back in but still cmon

  • Daniel Traynor

    Does anyone know how hide apps in the drawer in the Google Now Launcher?
    Also, is it possible to change the icon size for the homescreen and drawer? I do not want to use Apex or Nova, but Google doesn’t have these features 🙁

  • Smeckle

    Did the Hangouts update include a MMS forwarding fix? I am never able to forward photos from one text to another. I have to save the photo and reattach or use the stock messaging app.

  • Roger W Turner

    Newsstand updated me from 3.0.1 to 3.1.0

  • JMonkeYJ

    I’m excited about the Newsstand widget. I’m always looking for a better news app and a good widget is necessary to get me to actually use it.

  • chris_johns

    how about in hangouts you update it so that when i click on a photo instead of bringing me to someones google plus profile which oh surprise doesnt exist you pop up the phone contact like on the stock messaging app…and how about some more options for mms in hangouts like the stock has like slidehsows and what not and how about let us send videos not in mms…yeah these could be useful…just saying

  • Giovonni Fareed

    Background play for YouTube would be awesome ..just sayin

  • Alex Hutchins

    Actually the major thing with maps is that it will prompt you to change your route to a faster one now. Further waze integration.

    Also search is reported to support UK English commands now.

  • Bobby N

    The search update also brought 6*5 icon layout to the Google Now Launcher in Nexus 7

  • Cael

    Google Experience/Now Launcher still doesn’t work on Droid 4. Blah!

  • grumpyfuzz

    When you get GEL, now there is an introduction when you first open it to copy your app icons from your old launcher.

    • Steve B

      Yup. Google is prepping for mass adoption. Common folk should have this soon.

  • I have a nexus 7 and Moto x unrooted. I’m running GEL Which I side loaded on both. When I get the update to the Google search app pushed to me through the play store, will that mess anything up? Will there be a new version of the GEL I need to side load?

    • Nikuliai

      you roofied your devices?

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        i think i got my phone high one time. Found it in a bag of honey cheetos. .

        • Nikuliai

          mine is kind of kinky… find it often hiding on clothes, which is why I find the “find my phone” feature so fantastic :B

    • Steve B

      No, GEL is just a placeholder.

  • Cael

    Google Play Newsstand is going from version 3.0.1 to 3.1.0
    Not sure if Bug fixes is the current changelog though….and its not!

  • Cael

    My Google search icon disappeared after I downloaded the update. Only have the Voice Search icon. This happen to anyone else?

    • Steve B


    • JSo

      I still have it on mine. Maybe you need to restart your launcher. Or reboot.

      • Cael

        that fixed it 🙂

  • Brian Roskamp

    I experienced an odd bug in the Hangouts app for about 10 minutes yesterday. I use hangouts almost exclusively for SMS on my phone, so I was sending/receiving texts as usual, but then when the bug occurred I would send the text to the recipients phone as usual (these were on-going conversations), but then their response came from their G+ account, so my replies weren’t received by them as a text message. It corrected itself, but it was odd while it lasted.

  • PPC

    Is it possible to get the Google experience launcher on a Moto X?

    • ed

      I successfully used one from here on my X, I have to say the stock X launcher kind of blows.


      • Nikuliai

        why? haven’t used the GEL tbh but I don’t see the appeal, why do you say the X launcher blows?, I find it pretty neat

  • Chris

    Also does anyone else get this on hangouts? Every once in a while I get a tap to download MMS message. Expires on xx/xx/xxxx and when I tap on it it “downloads” but nothing happens.

    Hopefully this update fixes that.

    • I get this a lot as I have many friends on various platforms doing group-texting. Very annoying.

    • DJ

      As annoying as this sounds, I am jealous you even get this. Apparently I have been sent numerous group messages and always get crap about not responding.. Well I would have if I even knew they sent it!!

    • chris_johns

      Yeah i agree my biggest beef is when im in agroup chat and i get a side text that doesnt download and then never does and i never know what they said…meh to group chats meh i say!

    • Mike Humphreys

      You have to have your mobile data on to receive MMS. I was having the same problem because my phone turns mobile data off when my wifi is connected. If I turn mobile data on Hangouts will download the MMS. That was the fix for me at least.

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      Why all the down votes? Damn trolls

      • Chris

        Some people just do not like me…. Its fine. they are just strangers on the internet.

  • Cael

    More fixes for sending/receiving MMS
    Fixed a bug that prevented some from sending SMS longer than 160 characters

    • Chris


    • JBartcaps

      It’s so annoying trying to send a picture via MMS to someone

      • Cael

        Really? I’ve never had problems with it.

        • JBartcaps

          Problems all the time, pictures wouldn’t send, pictures would take like 5 minutes to send. All these happened in a group chat. I had to go back to stock messaging just to send a picture.

          • Chris

            Same thing happend here but with one on one messaging.

          • Weber

            The three dancing dots does get annoying after a while. I usually only have to switch back to stock to receive pictures, though.

      • Brian Roskamp

        I’ve never had a problem. My only (minor) complaint is that you have to add the picture before you type any text.

        • JBartcaps

          Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense why it’s like that

      • Mike Humphreys

        Reply in wrong spot

  • CAPerkins22

    I’m seeing a changelog for Hangouts version 2.0.3 includes:
    – More fixes for sending/receiving MMS
    -Fixed a bug that prevented some from sending SMS longer than 160 characters

    • Shawn Spring

      Anyone know if they will ever allow Hangouts to use the notification light on the G2? Would love to use hangouts as my primary messaging platform,but it will NOT use the colored LED which is how I tell the difference between mail and text messages (one vibrates and the other uses the LED) – this is a major bummer.

      • Michigan Guy


      • ArrowCool

        I don’t know if it works with the G2 (although I would assume so), but have you checked out Light Flow?

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    i’m telling you, samsung agreement + hangouts + new dialer where you search by name. Cool stuff. Googles ecosystem is about to get crazy.They aren’t sleeping on Gvoice either.

    • Chris

      On my HTC device, you can dial my name. Like “Amanda” just start dialing 2 – 6 (2 for “A” 6 for “M”) and her name shows up.

      • Graham

        That was available in 4.3!

        • Nikuliai

          4.3? I dial like that since gingerbread :S

          • bobbyp

            My old Bionic with ICS did that along with all of my other Motorola phones. Razr,, Razr HD, Razr M.

          • Nikuliai

            Gingerbread is 2.3, it’s before ICS, but yeah, that’s my point, the feature was there in the stock dialer since a while ago

        • Chris

          HTC has had that since the gingerbread days. maybe even before.

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        It’s a bit different. Since you weren’t here i’ll fill you in. I can search “pizza hut” in the dialer app without it being in my contacts. It does a google search for the nearest places called “pizza hut”. Combine that with phone numbers attached to Google+ profiles and forgetting my phone number is no longer a problem. Typing in “Daeshaun Griffiths” would call me, baking in another privacy issue.

        • Chris

          Well that is different… I knew about that but i assumed you ment for contacts.

    • flosserelli

      Dialing by name? Welcome to 2005.

      • Chris

        2005 would be dialing by number….

        • flosserelli

          I was dialing by name on my Samsung A900 flip phone in 2005. It is not bleeding edge technology…but I’m glad the new Google dialer has it.

          • Franklin Ramsey

            They are talking about the dialer now doing a search, not just on your contact’s list. So if you type in a local business name it searches for the number, even if that business isn’t in your contact list.

      • Daeshaun Griffiths

        How many times have you forgotten the number to your local pizza spot but knew the name?

        • Chris

          Yelp, google search…. facebook…

        • JSo

          I think people aren’t getting that you are talking about the smart dialer that the Nexus 5 comes with.

  • BK

    What I wouldn’t give for the Hangouts update to include Google Voice (MMS, group text, AND VOIP)

    • Steve B

      You and about a million other people.

    • sc0rch3d

      I read that article about restricting 3rd party access to messaging in May. I would be hopeful to think that an update is coming out soon (90 days to deadline) to get users to switch over from GV/3rd party to Hangouts as an “opt-in” migration before forcing.

      • Steve B

        This. They must be getting close on this.

        • mgamerz

          Or just scrapping voice all together… Sure feels like that despite what they said.

      • BK

        I hope you are right. I’ve been seeing some weird performance in my GV account lately, especially with text message delivery. Since I’ve been pretty problem free for a long time now, part of me thinks (wishes?) it is a symptom of changeover work happening behind the scenes.

        • Avril111

          My Uncle Gabriel got a stunning blue Dodge
          Charger SRT8 from only workin part time on a home pc… hop over to here

        • capnfatpants

          This morning I listened to a voice mail through voice and suddenly it transported me to hangouts. Very odd.

  • Jordan Long

    hopefully this fixed the bug with sending MMS (picture or group messages) on sprint. you cannot send/receive either over wifi, only network data. pretty frustrating.

  • Chris

    Hopefully hangouts gets the voicemail issue fixed on Sprit devices. That and the fact that I cant sent multiple pages of messages. Once I hit 160 characters I have to hit send and then keep typing my next message. Very annoying.

    • TJB

      This may not be helpful to you, but I have a Sprint HTC One and the issue regarding voicemail has been fixed by the recent update to KitKat (4.4.2).

      • Chris

        I’m still on 4.1. I should be getting 4.3 soon though. (HTC EVO LTE) I have an upgrade anyway so I’m not too worried over the update.

        So is the issue at OS level then?

        • TJB

          I can’t speak to whether or not it’s a general OS issue. Carriers customize each OS release pretty heavily, so Sprint may have included a fix themselves. All I know is the KitKat update fixed things.

        • Jimmy Baez

          HTC needs to hurry with that 4.3 update. I’d love to try out lock screen widgets, quick toggles and Sense 5.

          • TJB

            I’m running Sense 5.5 and KitKat on the One and you can no longer customize the lock screen. At all. No more custom lock screen wallpaper :(. You can still add widgets, but you have to swipe left to get to them (which makes them essentially pointless).

          • Chris

            All that toning down from people who complained and they don’t even own HTC devices…

  • JSo

    “No official changelog, but we’re now seeing a Google Now Launcher”

    What does that mean?

    • Steve B

      This. It used to just say “Launcher.”

      • Common Sense

        Should really drop the ‘Launcher’ wording appearing in that ‘Home’ Section

        Google Now Launcher is too long to be displayed! and could surely get away with ‘Google Now’ as well as Nova could be shortened no trouble.

        If there was anything Go could be a problem!

    • Rafter

      On the “Home” section in settings, GEL is now called Google Now Launcher

      • JSo

        Ah. Ok. I thought it meant that there was a possibility of the launcher being available in the Play Store now.

        • Steve B

          No, but it’s coming. They’re just laying the groundwork.

          You can install it on your own if you want.

          • JSo

            I have a Nexus 5 so I already have it. 🙂 I just like following this kind of stuff.

    • brkshr

      If you have “Home” in your settings (you have to have another launcher installed to see this) it now says Google Now Launcher there.

    • Sorry, clarified that a bit.

  • AxemRed

    They pushed me Hangouts and nothing else. Cool.

  • brkshr

    Google search fixed a bug on the N7(13), where after a reboot the right most dock icon/folder would be deleted from the GEL (or now the Google Now Launcher). It also added another column to the GEL on the N7(13).

    There’s also speculation that the Google Now Launcher may be released to the Google Play Store soon.

    • I’d say that new splash screen is a pretty good indication that it will be in the Play Store soon.

      • Steve B


    • JBartcaps

      Wait did I miss something? I thought the GEL was Nexus 5 exclusive and all other ports weren’t official?

      • charesa39

        Well, technically, it’s only officially on the Nexus 5. However, you can sideload it on the Nexus 7 (2013). I loaded it on mine, and it works flawlessly, with the exception of the little bug that brkshr mentioned in the OP.

        • JBartcaps

          Right so technically they didn’t fix the bug for the Nexus 7, the update just happened to fix it. Lol i’m getting way too technical, sorry

          • charesa39

            Haha! Indeed. They swapped a bug for another bug.

          • brkshr

            I think they are specifically fixing things for the N7(13) as well as other tablets and smartphones. It’s speculated that the Google Now Launcher will be released to the Play Store. So I’m sure they want to make sure bugs are fixed for other devices before doing so.

          • JBartcaps

            Ahhh okay, that makes sense then.

      • bozzykid

        True but it isn’t a port. You just install a small stub application that passes everything to the Google Search app. The search app includes the entire launcher.

    • charesa39

      Aww man. I got excited when you said they fixed the disappearing icon thing. I noticed this issue a few days ago. Then, I saw you edit. So the black bar is under the dock icons, above the nav bar?

      • brkshr

        It’s definitely noticeable. It basically rescales the wallpaper to the wrong size and leaves part of the wallpaper black.

        • charesa39

          Hmm. I might wait to update it then. I’d rather deal with the disappearing icon that I can just replace after a reboot, than an annoying black bar that would drive me crazy all the time.

          • brkshr

            I’m debating on which is worse now…

          • Christian

            Definitely the black bar. It looks horrible on my Nexus 7 (2012).

    • Steve B

      Goddamn the disappearing icon was annoying. Glad it’s fixed.

      • brkshr

        Ya it was! I had to move my folder icon, that I usually keep there, to a regular launcher grid spot. Now I’m not sure which bug is worse. The disappearing icon or the new wallpaper bug…

      • michael arazan

        Holy crap, thought it was just my N7 doing it, every time certain apps updated, that app would disappear off the home screen of my N7 2012. Thought it was just my tablet.

        • Steve B

          I never put much thought behind it when it happened. It always removed Chrome from my homescreen. I just figured it had something to do with Chrome getting updated.

        • capnfatpants

          Ha! I thought it was my 2 year old… She is quite good at rearranging my home screen.

    • Boblank84

      just a fyi for anyone that has not gotten the update that fixes this you can do a workaround with gravity box. Change the rows and columns to the max (7 rows and 6 columns) and that also fixes the issue.

      • brkshr

        Good to know

      • Thomas O’Brien

        I have gravity box on the LG G2…any idea why when I choose more rows/columns, they don’t show up in the newest Google Now Launcher posted here today?