Google has just released an update to its Google Search for Android app, and it's available to available to Android 4.1+ Jelly Bean devices.
Also updated is Google Now widgets, include the movie card offers latest ratings from Rotten Tomatoes, so you can pick the right movie. Purchase your tickets through Fandango, and Google Now will remind you when you need to leave for the theater, and pull up your tickets once you arrive.
In addition, the new cards include support from various new third parties such as Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes or Zillow. In short, here's what's new in Google Now:
What's in this version:
- For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean):
- - Google Now widget for home screen or lock screen
- - Movie passes from Fandango
- - Movies now includes ratings from Rotten Tomatoes
- - Real estate listings from Zillow when in the market for a home
- - Music button when a song is playing in voice mode (US only)
- - Support for US college sports
Some countries in Europe can now look and book their plane tickets using Google Flight Search. This allows travelers in France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK to easily book flights to selected destinations. Google Flight Search links airline websites according to your search parameters such as budget, destination, date of arrival or departure, etc.
You can easily compare lists of bookings from any countries or even airlines and it caters to various European languages, Basque, Catalan, Dutch, English, French, Galician, Italian and Spanish. You can also choose to view prices of tickets using your local currency.
Google now makes trip planning easier with this functionality and it can easily be accessed using your mobile devices, too, so it is an added convenience. Furthermore, Google and its reputation in providing the best services means that this service will only get better as time goes by.
With the Beta release of Chrome for Android rolling out today, it's now easier to create shortcuts on your homescreen to do exactly that. When visiting a website you'd like to save, simply select "Add to homescreen" in the toolbar menu.
Anytime you'd like to open the saved website, you can just tap its icon in your homescreen. For some websites, the shortcut will open inside a full-screen experience and appear as a separate app in the app switcher.
Also new is the "new tab page" the mimics the design found on desktops. Search is now present right in the middle of the tab (redundant since you could also search from the URL/search bar/Omnibox), and your most frequently visited sites appear along the bottom for quick access. The update is said to go live at some point today, and if you haven't yet, you can live on the bleeding edge and download Chrome Beta for Android via link below.
Google Search application for Android has the ability to tell you what song is currently playing. This ability comes with the latest version, which was announced on a post in Google+ on Monday. Tap the mic button and you will see a music icon will show up to let you know that the application is processing the tune that is currently playing. Tapping that icon will let you know if Google Search recognizes the music and it will tell you what it is, if it knows.
Comparing it to the Sound Search widget that came out last December, the Sound Search is much easier and quicker to use but this new feature of the Google Search is also a good addition. When the song is identified by the app, you will be asked to buy it from Google Play store, which can be quite convenient for many people.
More info: Google Search Link
New Gmail Android app launched today, now you can save time on the actions you use most often: such as reply, archive, and search. If you're using Gmail on an Android 4.1+ device, the updated app lets you reply and archive messages right from notifications with one quick tap.
You can also combine this with existing notification features like the ability to customize which messages you receive notifications for and set up different sounds for individual labels. So if you filter and label all the messages from your mom, you could set a ringtone to let you know you received a new mail from her and then quickly reply.
The new app also introduces faster search and better search suggestions so you can find your messages quickly online and offline. You can get the latest version of Gmail on Google Play.
Great news for Evernote users, you should head over to the Play Store and check for updates for your Evernote application. The latest version of the popular note taking app just landed, and it's packing some pretty neat features for both non-premium and premium users.
What's in this version:
- New: Page Camera mode beautifully digitizes photos of physical documents and pages
- Evernote for Android now works with the Evernote Smart Notebook by Moleskine
- Search in attached office documents, spreadsheets and presentations Shortcuts
- New: Shortcuts let you jump to notes, notebooks and tags that you access frequently
For premium users, a feature has been added that allows you to search through attached documents, spreadsheets and presentations, much easier to find something that you've tagged on to a note.
Google Play Sound Search has finally arrived to the UK. Google Play Sound Search is now available to help users in the UK easily identify songs in a matter of seconds, directly from a device's home screen. This should make it a lot easier to get acquainted with new music at pretty much any moment in time.
The Google Play Sound Search widget can help you recognize music and songs playing around you. You can:
- -Identify songs, directly from your homescreen
- -Purchase identified songs straight from Google Play, and add them to your Play Music library
- -Keep a song identification history, synced across all of your Android devices, so you can purchase a song later
- -Add the widget directly to your lockscreen, so you can recognize songs even faster (for devices running Android 4.2)
Google has now made searching a lot easier for mobile device users who prefer to use the web interface. Most sites already have sub-links that the user may access for quick browsing or to get to a particular page instantly. Before, only popular and high-ranking sites get to have these sub-sections but now, Google is making sure that "many" sites will already have these sub-links for ease of access.
Furthermore, other sites will have "Quick View" tabs that a user may hover on, again for ease of access. In Google's official search blog, a Wikipedia page is set as an example and you will see a screenshot of the diminutive "Quick View" tab with a blue background on the upper right corner of a selection. Currently, this feature is experimental but many sites and specific pages will be a lot easier to search for in the near future.
Furthermore, expect Google to include this level of user search using various languages, when the updates get better.
Source: Google BlogSpot
Google makes it's Search mobile app better by adding a tip calculator to its laundry list of features.
The tip calculator can be initiated by either a voice command or typing for example "What's the tip for X dollars" and a special interface will pop up prompting you to fill in the facts of the order. To ensure that Google to come back you the exact tip amount, you'll have to input the total bill, adjust the end percentage and split the check among the people you're by helping cover their.
This will output two numbers - the first one is the tip each person has to give, and also the other will be the bill (plus tip) divided through the number of people.
This tool definitely comes handy when you are out of your friends and trying to bring up a 3rd party app to calculate tips while you can use the search app much easiler from your finger tips.
Among the headline options that come with Android 4.4 is really a refurbished desltop and application launcher. The symbols are bigger, there's more transparency, and also the application drawer makes better utilisation of the screen property. It is also heavily integrated with Search and Google Now, although you will possibly not view it in the surface level.
Sure, there is the usual search bar widget along with a swipe left will open the entire Search application, however the integration goes much much deeper than that. While developing KitKat, Google designed a quite interesting decision: instead of graft a couple of new search UI pieces to the desltop, Google put the present home application within the trash and switched all desltop functionality to google's Search application.
Ars Technica took a closer look to Android 4.4 KitKat and found that the Google Home launcher has been sacrificed in favor of the new Google Search, which takes over the screen in a similar fashion Facebook's launcher does:
That's right, Google Search isn't just integrated into the home screen, it is the home screen. Everything you see on the home screen-the wallpaper, the icons, the widgets, and the app drawer-are all drawn by the Google Search app. "GoogleHome.apk" still exists, but it is an empty shell that forwards everything to the search app.
The difference here is that Google does it in a more subtle way than Facebook, which isn't obvious to the user and doesn't change the overall experience when it comes to visual elements.