Google Brings Hotel and Restaurant Filters to Google Search on Android Devices

Today, Google has baked a bit more of its Zagat purchase into mobile Google Search results, allowing searchers to use a new filter tool when looking for restaurants or hotels in their city. Starting now, if you say “show me some hotels in San Francisco,” you will get your same list of results, but with the new filter button added in, that allows you to filter the results by date, hotel class, user ratings, and more.  (more…)

Starting Today, Google Now Will Notify You of Incidents to Avoid on Your Trips

We’ve all had that feeling — driving for hours and then finding out it’s all in vain because of a traffic incident that could have been avoided. Actually, I haven’t, but if you have you’ll be glad for Google Search’s latest addition to Google Now. Through Now, Google will send you notifications if you are likely to run into traffic situations (incidents) during a trip. (more…)

Google Adds “Take a Picture” and “Take a Video” Voice Actions to Search

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.

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Tip: Use Google Search on Mobile to Quickly Find Restaurant Menus as Search Cards

How often do you use Google to help you find a restaurant’s website so that you can hopefully checkout the spot’s menu? I do it at least a couple of times per week it seems like, especially when trying to decide where to meet friends at. The process, at least until today, has been extremely tedious.

You had to search for a restaurant, visit their website, scroll around looking for the “Menu” link, and then either seeing the menu directly on the site or downloading it as a PDF file, which would then take another tap. Google has fixed this painful process (at least in the U.S.), by adding all sorts of restaurant’s menus to search results that can be viewed on mobile and the web via card that pops up at the top of all listings. (more…)

Google Search Update Lets Google Know Which One of Your Contacts is Your Mother

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…)

The Google Now Launcher is Coming, It Will Even Import From Your Old Launcher

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…)

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.  (more…)