Many Android fans have been waiting for Google to integrate more system options and controls into Voice Search. While turning off WiFi with your voice is still unsupported (we wish it was), a new update for the official Google Search app has us one step closer to full voice integration. Following the update, users now have the ability to take pictures and record videos just by talking to their phone.
Remember when the launcher on the Nexus 5 turned into the Google Now Launcher? We told you at the time that its appearance on the Play store as an app for everyone was likely imminent as it included a way to import settings from your old launcher. Guess what? It arrived today, though it’s not yet for everyone just yet.
The app is indeed just like the launcher that exclusively launched with the Nexus 5 in that it makes Google Now only a swipe away. If turned on, a simple swipe from the left will bring over Google Now, so that you can keep track of your life.
At this time, the listing claims that it is only available for Nexus or Google Play Edition devices running Android 4.4. So yes, the Nexus 10 and 7 can now officially enjoy this new beautiful launcher.
Think that Google doesn’t know enough about your life already? With the latest update to Google Search, family ties will be added in to the growing list of info that Google has stashed on you. Thanks to the update, specific contacts can now be saved as Mom, Dad, Sister, Wife and so on and so forth. Following the update, you can simply state, “Ok Google, call Mom” and it will do it for you (after you have set it up). But this begs the question, why wouldn’t you have your mother’s phone number on speed dial already? Bad child. (more…)
Through an update to Google Search that arrived today, we are now seeing a new name for the launcher that came installed as an exclusive on the Nexus 5. Previously dubbed the “Google Experience” launcher, the name has now been changed to “Google Now” launcher. The name makes a lot of sense, especially since it has Google Now built-in, is actually powered by Google Search, and can access Now with a simple swipe from the left.
But while installing it on my Moto X, I noticed that it wanted to do more than just act as a sideloaded, stepchild launcher that didn’t belong. It asked if I wanted to import settings (well, icons and folders) from my older stock launcher. While we have no official word on this, seeing options like this in the launcher certainly hints at this new Google Now launcher finally arriving for all on Google Play. (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. (more…)
Google’s Chrome team announced the availability of Google Now for Chrome Beta users on desktops this morning. Google Now is a helpful app that brings important information you care about right to your attention without you having to ask for it. For example, you can keep an eye on upcoming flight plans, daily commute traffic, and even track shipments making its way to your house. Google Now has been an Android user’s best friend since launch, and now, it’s available for Chrome desktop users. (more…)
Industry leak-machine, @evleaks, dropped another Samsung home UI image over the weekend that could give us a look at Samsung’s plan to take on Google Now in the near future. The image (found below) shows a card-style UI with contextual information that you may be familiar with if you use Google’s service, though this is much more photo-forward. (more…)
As the text on the infamous Ron Paul animation proclaims, it’s happening. (I just preempted you, commenters, so there’s really no need to post that GIF.) Since the debut of Google Now with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, users have been clamoring for a desktop extension of the service. It took a year and a half, but Google Now has finally come to Windows and Mac users as an experimental feature in the Canary version of Chrome. (more…)