Somewhere amid the rest of Google's app updates today, Google updated its Search app. While the Play Store still shows an old change log, there are at least a couple of notable changes with the new update.

First among them, as part of Google's ongoing quest for better language processing, is the ability to have language packs automatically update themselves. This is something we uncovered in our last APK Teardown, though some of the more exciting features we saw evidence of (custom hotwords) haven't quite hit prime time yet.

Screenshot_2013-09-25-15-22-35 Screenshot_2013-09-25-15-22-47

The update also brings wider recognition for TV programming. In a previous update, Search added the ability to detect when you're watching live television on an internet-enabled TV. This time around, the TV detection card has switched from asking "Watching live TV?" to "Watching TV," adding that "Live TV broadcasts and some recorded programs can be detected," versus the previous "Only live TV broadcasts can be detected."

Finally, the latest update also has a subtle tablet UI tweak. Namely, there's a smaller margin on either side of cards when viewing them in portrait mode. This gives the cards a slightly more spacey feel, but opens up the potential for more dense cards in future iterations, and brings the tablet experience closer to its phone-bound counterpart.

Screenshot_2013-09-25-18-10-16 Screenshot_2013-09-25-18-11-21

Left: old Right: new

Those using our recent Hotword From Results module for Xposed should note that this update temporarily breaks functionality. We'll have an update ready soon!

The latest version of Search should be rolling out to everyone eventually, but if you simply can't wait any longer, hit the appropriate link below.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Download from Android File Host (ARM, x86)

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Another teardown feature comes to life. o/

    • http://www.hacktabs.com/ Anoop Sudhakaran

      This is awesome! Custom hotwords would be great, I think it will arrive shortly with a small update.

      Also, Do you have any idea why the Offline Voice Recognition doesn't work on some Jelly Bean devices? You don't get an option to download the Language Packs.

    • cabbiebot

      AP is pretty much the gold standard for Android reporting. For everything else, The Verge. Keep up the great work.

      • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

        If only The Verge stopped their link-baiting article titles...

        • miri

          Between that and their headache-inducing design, I've stopped going there save for direct links to articles.

          • Roh_Mish

            I go to mobile.theverge.com s their website makes it easy to mitts an really good article for ios crap

          • MikeJwF

            The Android app is much better than their website.

  • Raymond Berger

    It looks like your Google Play app has been taken down :c

    • Spasillium

      That's weird... It still shows up for me on laptop and phone https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.androidpolice.hotwordfromresults

      • Raymond Berger

        Hmm that's odd it won't work on my browder or phone.


        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          It shows up for those who already installed it and doesn't for those who haven't. I've taken it down for now.

          • Roh_Mish

            I don't have it but it is still showing up

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Look in incognito, it shouldn't be live.

          • Roh_Mish

            It is live without logging in in firefox but not in chrome. Weird. (I dont use firefox as default, that was a different case.)

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      Yep, as I mentioned in the post, the update temporarily broke it. It'll be back soon!

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        *If we can fix it.

  • Wayne Randall

    I wish Search was a little smarter; I only stop at the bus station on Friday afternoons and Sunday evenings. Travel predictions should have picked up on the pattern by now.

    And, dear Search, I don't need to know the travel time and directions to 'Work' when I've just arrived 'Home' from there..

    • Sir_Brizz

      That one seems to have gotten significantly worse. It used to be good at telling me home/work times. Eventually it just started showing them all the time.

  • blahmoomoo

    I'm guessing the YouTube app update that also happened today is nothing significant. The changelog didn't change, at least.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I found a bunch of things in it. I'll post it soon.

      • blahmoomoo


      • Ashed

        I'm still waiting for a version that will anti-alias videos properly on the 2013 Nexus 7. Guessing it's because of the 1080p display?

  • KChristainsen

    Has anyone gotten the ability to tell their spouse when there leaving work? Supposed to be on the last update but haven't seen it yet

    • miri

      Have you each enabled it? I forgot which card it was, but one of them allows you to enable commute sharing.

      • KChristainsen

        thanks i didn't know this, I'll check it out

        • saltyzip

          Did you find it, I couldn't, perhaps US only?

          • KChristainsen

            Yes it was in the settings of the traffic card. I'm gonna try it out this week. I do live in the US

  • Camilo

    if i own a nexus 4. What version should i download ? First time i see ARM and x86 apks

    • blahmoomoo

      The Nexus 4, and most phones, are ARM-based. So get the ARM one.

  • RJM7787

    I also received a youtube update today. Haven't seen it mentioned here yet. It doesn't seem like anything major though. Anyone else get it yet?

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      We'll be discussing/tearing it down soon!

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    Too bad the Gmail card still doesn't work with Google App account. Actually, there are other things that don't work with Google App account -- like it won't pull out images from my Google Plus Photos when I do a search.

    • Tony

      I've never seen any of those things with a standard google/gmail account, so I wouldn't worry too much (the photo thing is new to me - never heard of that one) It seems very hit and miss.

      OTOH it's very reliable at telling me the weather :p

  • Kcls

    They took the vertical lines out from the weather card too. Might want to add that.

  • miri

    The search bar in Google Now is finally the same width as the one on the home screen on tablets. That's been bugging me for some time.

    • Roh_Mish

      I felt something was wrong with it before, but i know what it is. I have not hit the update and now it bugs me even more

  • thewild

    That soudn great... for english speakers, or at least people living in the US.
    Google Now is totally useless in french, and even more in Europe in general.
    Even reminders only work in english. I really can't think of a good reason for that, I'm quit sure it would take at most 1 day to a dev to enable this feature in french.
    I'd really love to use Google Now, it would just be non-sense at this stage...