An increasing number of users have stumbled across a new navigation card when looking for directions using the Google Search app. Apparently the tech giant has decided to pull the switch that opens this feature up to a wider populace. The card resembles Google Maps: it provides a map with the trip drawn out, the option to select the desired mode of transportation, alternate routes to select from, and a giant blue start button for when it's time to get moving.
Last week, Google pushed out an update for Google Search, bringing the version number up to 3.6.13. While it added support for deep linking into apps and a few more of the bits to make hands-free operation a little more convenient, most people probably felt like they didn't get too much out of this update. As it turns out, we found one more addition that might interest a few more people.
According to your grandmother, over 96% of kids these days don't know their history and will be doomed to repeat it. Also, no one learns cursive anymore. There's not a whole lot that Google can do about the latter, but with a new search tool, they may be working on the former. Chrome and Search enthusiast Florian Kiersch posted screenshots of a new Knowledge Graph tool that automatically generates timelines of broad historical topics based on content from Wikipedia.
Here's something that might just blow your mind. If you perform a voice search and Google misunderstands you, or you happen to garble your words, there's a quick way to take care of that. Just follow up with a second search that begins with "No, I said..." Google will then replace the incorrect word with what you said the second time.
Here's an example. Let's say you're in a hurry to get to our lovely website, and you say "OK Google, take me to Android Police." It doesn't hear you properly, and somehow you end up with Android mobile.
Not only is Google announcing all sorts of stuff today, but it's also updating a slew of its apps (it is Update Wednesday, after all). Today's Google Search update brings a huge improvement: "OK Google" hotword detection to any screen... even the lockscreen. If you're plugged into a charger, the feature will even work with the display off. This lines up with the earlier rumor that it was coming eventually.
Once enabled (Google Now > Settings > Voice > "Ok Google Detection"), you'll have to enable Audio History and say the words three time in order for Now to register your voice – much like setting up the hotword detection on the Moto X and recent Droid devices.
Google's really been on a roll lately when it comes to Google Now... or at least our readers have been especially good at spotting features that we hadn't before. As the 2014 World Cup draws ever nearer, Google has added the various competing national soccer (all non-Americans, read: football) teams to the integrated sports updates already seen for most of the major league sports in the US. Now you don't need a separate app for score updates and news, unless you're the picky type who likes things like content or videos.
For the last several days, an unknown number of Android users have been getting inconsistent results when using the built-in Google Search app on their phones and tablets. And by "inconsistent," I mean that they aren't getting any at all, instead being greeted by the enigmatic message "can't load search results" whenever they try to use it. While none of the Android Police staff have experienced this, threads on Google Code, Google Groups, and Reddit continue to receive replies.
Starting now, looking up information about the World Cup within the Google Search app will pull up specific details on who's playing where, who's competing next, and who's beating whom. The World Cup takes off next week, and rather than installing a dedicated app just to get the basics, Google has you covered.
If you missed that big game and want to catch up quickly, you can always tune into Sportscenter or any number of websites. But if you want to do so as fast as humanly possible, Google is happy to oblige with a new addition to the ever-expanding search functions. For the latest NBA games in the US, Google is adding short video recaps to the score cards that automatically appear when you search for a team or a game.