Expectations are high for each update to Google's core apps on Android. After all, we know there are going to be a lot of new features announced at I/O in less than 2 weeks. Quite a few apps have recently gone through a Material refresh, and plenty of others have seen smaller changes as they slowly coalesce around the current design guidelines. That appears to be the story with the latest Google App update. The latest version finally enables full screen mode for Google Now on devices using custom launchers.
left: old version, right: new version
Prior to this release, users with the Google Now Launcher set as their default homescreen would see their Now stream with translucent status and navigation bars. However, people with any other launcher would see fully opaque black bars. The update changes this behavior so that the stream is always shown in immersive mode. Yes, it's a pretty simply change, but a lot of people have requested this for quite a while.
We've checked the Galaxy S6 to determine if 'Ok, Google' command is working everywhere again. Unfortunately, it still appears to be broken.
We're still poking around for more changes. If you stumble across anything worth calling out, let us know in the comments below.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
File Name: com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox-126.96.36.199.arm-300407085-minAPI19.apk
Version: 188.8.131.52.arm (300407085)