The Google Search app just got updated, so that means it's teardown time! I still rip into every interesting Google update, but I only write an article when I find something interesting. Things have been slim lately, I know, but today there's good news! I found stuff.
Google Search is the hardest app teardown to do. You can never really be sure if what you've found is in the app or not, because everything is so predictive and context heavy. So I'll just aim for "new stuff that's not in the change log." If you find any of this in the actual app, let me know. That change log, by the way, looks like this.
- 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
Anything not in there is going in this article. Starting with:
"Art Project." The name and icon is about all the information I have for you. There's some XML that handles the touch response (white to blue) and that's about it.
I can tell you that the design and the name ("ic_action_artproject") means this belongs to the family of "action" icons for Google Now cards. Here's the full group of them on the left, and you can see them in context on the right. These guys all go at the bottom of a Now card, and as the name would imply, they all do stuff: make a phone call, view an email, navigate somewhere, etc.
The other "action" icons are named pretty straightforwardly, so the only conclusion I can come up with is that there will be a new Google Now card with "Art Project" as an action - which makes no sense. Start speculating.
Flight Progress & Early Airport Arrival
A perfect example of something I have no way of testing. There are some new flight features, but I don't have a flight coming up anytime soon, and don't have any way to make Google Now think I have a flight coming up soon, so let me know if you spot this.
These colored airplanes are all new. Google Now currently tells you if an upcoming flight is on time or not with colored text, but these are called "progress" which would suggest you see this card while you're flying.
There are also beginning and end points for the airplanes. These will eventually form lines in the style of Google's location history design. Again, this would be pretty pointless before or after your flight, you would want to see it during your flight. That's interesting, because GPS doesn't really work in a plane. I guess you could time it.
<string name="time_to_leave_notification_airport_hours_before">Leave by %1$s to arrive at the airport %1$s hours before your flight</string>
<string name="time_to_leave_notification_airport_minutes_before">Leave by %1$s to arrive at the airport %1$s minutes before your flight</string>
<string name="adjust_settings">Adjust settings</string>
<string name="arrive_at_the_airport">Arrive at the airport</string>
<string name="before_flight_hour">%1$d hour before flight</string>
<string name="before_flight_hours">%1$d hours before flight</string>
<string name="before_flight_minutes">%1$d minutes before flight</string>
Google Search is also sporting some new flight-related strings. It looks like there will be a traffic card specifically for airports, which would take an early arrival time into account, so you have time to check bags and go through security. "Adjust Settings" seems to suggest you'll be able to enter your preferred early arrival time, and it will alert you of the traffic accordingly. The "Domestic" and "International" strings might even mean it will keep separate preferences for each type of flight. That would be neat.
As far as I can tell, there is no actual xml for "Adjust settings" to load, so I'm pretty sure this feature isn't live yet.
Thanks Ian Lake!
Strange Contact Text
<string name="show_contact_information_view_contact">View contact</string>
<string name="show_contact_information_edit_contact">Edit contact</string>
<string name="show_contact_information_no_contact_details">There are no contact details stored for this contact.</string>
<string name="show_contact_information_no_phone_number">There is no phone number stored for this contact.</string>
<string name="show_contact_information_no_email_address">There is no email address stored for this contact.</string>
<string name="show_contact_information_no_postal_address">There is no postal address stored for this contact.</string>
These are new, but I'm totally lost as to what they would be for. Google Search doesn't really deal with contacts like this. You can tell Voice Actions to Call (or email) someone, but if you don't have a phone number for that contact, it will say "Contact not found," not "There is no phone number stored for this contact." "Contact not found" is pretty confusing, so maybe they are just changing the error message.
"No postal address," though, is really strange, especially the "postal" part. That makes it sound like you want to send paper mail. This can't be a better error message, because there is nothing you can currently do with a contact address in Search. "Navigate to Bob's house" is not supported.
There's also "View contact" and "Edit contact," which, again, are not things you can do through Google Search.
Google is working on SPDY support for the Search app. There's a ton of code for it, and there's even an "enable_spdy" switch in bools.xml. SPDY is like HTTP, but faster. So Google Search will load even quicker!
<string name="weather_current_temperature">%1$d degrees</string>
<string name="weather_high_temperature">high %1$d degrees</string>
<string name="weather_low_temperature">low %1$d degrees</string>
For some reason there is now text for "High xx degrees" for the weather, which is interesting, because the weather card doesn't use this text (neither does the widget). Perhaps there's a weather card revamp in the works?
Live Stuff: The Traffic page has a few more options, you can now set the transportation mode separately for commutes and other trips, and "Walking" and "Biking" are now selectable traffic modes. There's also a new section in the "Privacy & Accounts" settings for "Personal results."
<string name="feedback_prompt">Help improve Google Now. Was this card…</string>
<string name="feedback_prompt_not_useful">Not useful</string>
There is or will be a feedback prompt, presumably when you swipe away a card. Has anyone spotted this?
This guy is called "ic_menu_email_holo_dark.png" and I'm guessing he goes with a new bit of text that says "Email Guests." This is probably for Calendar support.
Remember when I found the Google Goggles team's personal sandbox URLs hidden in the search app? They've been removed. Glad to hear you guys are readers. <3
That's it for this update. This one left us with more questions than answers, didn't it? Let's hear your speculation in the comments.