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…)
Still haven’t managed to get into the holiday spirit? Grab your phone, open Google Search, tap the microphone, and say “let’s go caroling.” If you own a Moto X (or new DROID), don’t bother touching your phone, simply say “OK, Google Now, let’s go caroling.” With a Nexus 5, feel free to say the same thing from the home screen.
Tap a song, sing along. Happy holidays, from Google.
Even though Google’s GEL or Google Experience Launcher is currently an exclusive to the Nexus 5, we’re all well aware of its capabilities on other devices running Android 4.1+. In fact, the last Google Search update from mid-November brought compatibility with the new launcher to all sorts of devices, assuming you had the new GoogleHome.apk sideloaded. But compatibility is one thing, functioning correctly and not looking like garbage is another. (more…)
This afternoon, Google introduced two new features for Google Search, features that will bring your inquiries and apps together for a more fluid experience. For example, if you are searching for a holiday movie that you can’t remember the name of, you can perform a Google Search, and if you have the IMDb app installed in this case, you will be given the option to open the app right from the search results. Kind of neat, right? (more…)
Google Search received a big update this evening to version 3.1.8, bringing with it a gang of new features. The crown jewel for most users will be the ability to use the official Google Experience Launcher that comes stock on the Nexus 5, plus its always-listening search capabilities and fancy animations to boot. But keep in mind, you will also need to download the Home apk from the Nexus 5 dump for that feature to work. You can download the additional apk and sideload it right here. (more…)
Remember the Google Search update that started its staged rollout on September 25? You’ve more than likely had it installed since then, but Google finally published a changelog for it yesterday afternoon. The update is a decent one, since it introduces hotword searches by having you say “OK, Google” at a search screen (hands-free fun!). You’ll also see “more beautiful” search results during searches and stay updated on notable people you search for. (more…)
Even after a new Google Search update for Android and the introduction of hashtags to searches came across the wire yesterday, Google has decided to continue improving their bread-and-butter product again today. For starters, the iOS Google Search app has been updated to include the clever “OK, Google” voice activation command. But more importantly, your Google Now notifications for things like Reminders, now sync between Android and iOS. So if you wanted to use your Android tablet to remind yourself to pick-up a 6-pack of Jubelale later in the day, you could in theory take an iPhone with you later on and still receive the reminder.
Also, Google is continuing its overhaul of mobile search results. You should see a look that is “cleaner and simpler, optimized for touch, with results clustered on cards so you can focus on the answers.” (more…)