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's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time.
So you're trying to choose between a new Altima and a Civic for your next car. Naturally you Google them both to check out their specifications and features. But it turns out that you can get most of the important numbers without clicking on a single link. Today Google pulled the wraps off of a new addition to Search's Knowledge Graph both on the web and on mobile: car stats.
Search the Play Store for "tip calculator" and you'll probably find over nine thousand different ways to cut up gratuity. But now you don't need them: Google has added a tip calculator to its ubiquitous search engine on the mobile app and the web. Just search for "what's the tip for forty dollars" (or any amount you'd care to name) and Google will return the default 15% tip.
Want to be a little more generous?
Google knows how annoying it is to miss the next episode of your favorite show because you didn't know when it was going to air, so now when you do a simple search for a TV show, Google will display a list of episodes directly in the search results. The episodes appear in descending order, so the upcoming episode should appear at the top with previous episodes listed below. Google released a screenshot on Google+ of the new feature in action.
It looks like Google isn't done adding goodies to the latest round of updates for the official Search app. The hotword for activating the voice search function is now "Ok Google," and it also works while looking at results, not just from the standard search screen. You'll need Search 2.8.7 (grab the APK here if you don't have it yet) and an updated English (US) language pack to see the new functionality.
Google is 15 years old. Lets think about that for a moment: the company that has grown to have not one but two operating systems, develop self-driving cars, map much of the globe, manage most of our mail, offer an online collaborative office suite, and have a name ubiquitous enough to enter the dictionary, is younger than most of our readers. Google has only recently gone through puberty and is currently studying up for its driving exam.
The Google Search 2.7 APK teardown is now officially the longest one in the history of Android Police. We find a bunch of interesting things, post about them, continue digging, and what do you know - keep running into new stuff. I'm fairly positive there won't be part 4 this time around, as we've squeezed out every last drop from v2.7, but as they say - never say never.
If you haven't read the first two parts yet, you should do so now to cover the bases.