Sometimes Android fans outside of the US feel a bit left out by Google. Not without good reason (and not without telling us and everyone else about it) - Google tends to focus on America for major products and features and expand them to the rest of the world at their leisure. Well Android users down under can now use the voice activation in Google Search and Google Now, or at least use it with a little more ease.
Like all of the current writers and editors for Android Police, I'm American. Which means that my understanding of cricket is something along the lines of, "like baseball, but more British." That gives me the vague impression that during the seventh inning stretch everyone stops to sing God Save The Queen and heads to the concession stand for tea. If you know more about the noble sport of cricket than I do, you'll be pleased to hear that Google just added support for scores and schedules to Google Now.
All joking aside, we know this is a big deal for sports fans in India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and several other countries.
It's no secret that HTC intends to enter the wearables market, but we haven't come across many details about what form an eventual product from the company would take. Well if a new Bloomberg report is to be believed, we've already grown accustomed to one. The Taiwanese manufacturer will allegedly show off the first of three new devices to carriers at Mobile World Congress, with no plans to unveil anything publically.
Do you want to show your support of both Google Now and Google Chrome? Do you need some kind of cotton garment to cover the space between your neck and your waist? Do you have twelve bucks? Then T-shirt seller Qwertee's daily sale is for you. Today Qwerty is offering the C-REX design from Marco Pedrazzolli. The background is taken straight from the default mountain view in the Google Now app, and the little T-Rex in the foreground should be familiar to anyone who's had problems connecting to a page in Chrome.
If you're not in the market for a T-shirt, Marco was kind enough to upload his design to both Dropbox and Google Drive in a staggering array of resolutions that should fit just about any mobile screen, laptop, or desktop.
You've got to give it to Google: the company has its finger on the pulse of the world's search habits. Take the upcoming Sochi Olympics - while Russia itself seems poised for an international embarrassment of epic proportions, Google has already tuned up its search engine with Sochi information for desktop and mobile searches. Most searches with "olympics" and an event will return a quick schedule and/or results card in the Knowledge Graph area.
Update: Google says Now is coming to the beta channel this week, but it is already showing up for us on some machines.
Google Now is one of Android's central features these days, but we've known for a long time that Google was planning to bring it to Chrome on the desktop too. The feature first broke cover in the Chrome canary build, which is a standalone pre-dev version of the browser.
One of the most powerful, albeit underused, features of Android is the ability to get search results directly from within the apps installed on our devices. While there has been a bit of conflict over the so-called Unified Search patent, the fact is, that functionality is alive and well. Ok, it's actually not doing all that great on Android 4.4 - which is to say, it's only working with a few of the many apps that should be searchable.
Heads up, Android users: there's a Google Search update that just landed in the Play Store. Google's tendency for staged rollouts means that some of you might not get an automatic update for a few days, but as usual, we've got the APK download below. There are a few noticeable visible changes in the integrated Google Experience Launcher, but that's about it as far as new features go. This is an incremental update after the massive 3.1.8 update from last month.
Google Now's website has received a slick new redesign, and it's quite a looker. The landing page is now rich with animations and background video, providing an experience so immersive that if you haven't already tried Google Now, or even if you've just been taking a break, you might want to go fire it back up. The page offers a great primer for anyone who isn't already aware of what Google's portable personal assistant is capable of.