Samsung seems to have gotten the hang of updating phones besides the major flagships. While it's still coming about nine months after the release of Jelly Bean and nearly six months after the release of the handset, the Galaxy Stellar will be upgraded to 4.1 "soon", according to these Verizon support docs. The OTA will bring the much-beloved Google Now as well as expandable notifications and all the other goodies of the newest tasty treat.
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.
Google just pushed an update to its Search app (which, as you know, includes Google Now). Among the new additions are the Google Now widget that we've all been hearing so much about, movie ratings, the ability to pull up movie passes purchased from Fandango, and real estate listings from Zillow when Google thinks you're in the market for a home. Now that's fancy.
Additionally, the update also adds a music button when a song is playing in voice mode, though that feature is currently limited to the U.S.
Good news, basketball fans. Google has been gradually upgrading the Now service to include a wider range of sports teams, and today Division I NCAA basketball teams from all over the US can be manually added to your personal Now results. Go into the Google Now settings page, tap "Sports," and search for your favorite school. Only basketball is supported at the moment - here's hoping that football teams are added before the season starts.
Yes, we know - the Nexus 4 is still thin on the ground basically everywhere. (Americans, both the 8GB and 16GB versions are currently shown as "ships in 2-3 weeks" on the Play Store.) Even so, the LG flagship is the logical showpiece for Google Now, and it's doing some fine service in Google's latest mobile search ad. This one shows off Now's ability to automatically bring up contextual information for your time or location.
One of the most often requested additions to Google Now's card system is college sports for the US, and it looks like at least some people are finally starting to see it. A very small number of Google Now users have seen cards appear for their favorite NCAA football and basketball teams (sorry, women's ice hockey fans, no dice). The results seem to be entirely contextual at the moment; you can't add college teams in the settings menu yet, but a few sports fans are seeing the relevant cards appear after they search for their team.
I hope you like Google Now, because it looks like this product is here to stay for a long time. As we speak, Chrome developers are working on bringing Popular Science's Innovation of the Year to the desktop, instead of keeping it trapped just on your phone or tablet. As it turns out, a "skeleton" framework is already in place for the search product to move in.
Google's not being shy about the existence of this product, but also isn't in a hurry to announce it, either: