Version 4.9 of the Google app began rolling out late yesterday, but it's not sporting a lot of obvious additions. The only immediately visible changes appear under Settings -> Now cards, where a new toggle has been added to enable or disable lock screen notifications based on cards. Some updated text also appears below the new toggle, if you care about that sort of thing.

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Left: old version. Right: new version.

The existing Notifications toggle gave users the option to determine whether cards from Google Now could occupy space in the notification shade. The new toggle brings a little more control by allowing notifications to appear in the shade without being shown on the lock screen where they could potentially overwhelm more important notifications. I would have preferred to see granular, per-app controls for this setting, like those added in Lollipop (under Settings -> Sound & notifications -> App notifications), but maybe that will come in a future update.

Again, the text just below the toggles for notifications has also been updated, at least if you're on Lollipop or above. If supported, the section title now reads Priority notifications instead of Urgent updates, and the text now indicates that your settings determine how high priority notifications are handled.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced.

Toggle App Suggestions

You know how Google is trying to give you shortcuts to apps you use all the time? Oh, you hate that? Really? I think it's cool, but I guess it's not to everybody's taste. Anyway, it looks like a new setting will allow us to turn this off, if we want to. Switching off suggestions will erase any data collected regarding installed apps and usage patterns.

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Left: app suggestions from search. Right: suggestions in the app drawer.

I'm not sure if this is intended to shut off app suggestions that surface through the search bar or those that appear at the top of the app drawer in Android M, or possibly both. Either way, the option doesn't seem to appear on Lollipop, and I haven't tried downgrading the included Google app on an Android M device, but I expect the setting simply isn't available yet. Either way, I doubt there will be that many people taking advantage of the option, but just know it's on the way if you want it.

strings

<string name="homescreen_settings_header_category">Home screen</string>
<string name="homescreen_settings_msg_predictions_prompt">"Suggestions won't appear at the top of your apps list, and the usage data used to create them will be permanently erased."</string>
<string name="homescreen_settings_show_predictions">App suggestions</string>
<string name="homescreen_settings_title_predictions_prompt">Turn off app suggestions?</string>
<string name="homescreen_settings_action_turn_off">TURN OFF</string>

These are the only changes we've seen, but there may be a few more lurking around. Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary and let us know in the comments if you see anything.

Download

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-4.9.22.19.arm-300413946-minAPI19.apk

Version: 4.9.22.19

MD5: 4ae12d335591521774cc51c561f2dc9f