A couple of days ago, Google dropped a pretty sweet but surprising late-night update to Google Search with version 2.7.9. You can read about the announced features and download the APK here, if you haven't yet. After the dust settled, I jumped right into the multitude of under-the-hood changes and was able to uncover quite a few things not included in the changelog - both ones that are coming in the future and ones that are already here.
Words are awesome. For writers they're meat and drink, bread and butter, and everything else that goes on the dinner table. But even writers run into words we've never seen before, and at times like that Google Search is an awesome tool for expanding my vocabulary. Google Search just got a little better, because the definition cards have been updated to include word origins and their usage over time.
The origins aren't just a simple footnote, either, such as "Germanic" or "Latin." No, we're talking full trees of information, with base words, root words, prefixes, suffixes, alternate forms, transliterations, and all kinds of other goodies.
Google Now is quickly becoming an excellent aggregator for all the information that most users need on a regular basis – be it weather, that day's schedule, tracking shipments, and so much more. Aside from its already-useful functionality, though, Google has been working towards making most actions voice-searchable. For example, you can tell Now to set a reminder, play a particular artist in Music, and more. Today's Search update brings more voice actions to existing functions, making it even easier get quick access to important information:
Google (and perhaps other search engines, but who uses those?) has made finding information easier than ever. Unfortunately, this phrase comes with a wide range of caveats. Finding information that isn't current can be quite a challenge, and the first pages are often flooded with results from sites like Yahoo! Answers, which rank a few rungs higher than Wikipedia on the list of websites not to use as sources on college papers.
I've known my wife for five years now, and I still struggle to remember her phone number. The only numbers I know are those I can recall from before getting my first mobile phone, and since I have lost touch with nearly everyone from back then, that has largely been reduced down to immediate family members. For everyone else, there's a People app, and all I've had to do to dial them is start typing their name.
Google Search was just updated to version 2.6, which means it's teardown time! As usual with Google Search, it's impossible to bring up the new stuff "at will." Cards pop up entirely based on a bunch of crazy inputs that I can't easily replicate (emails, location, etc) so there's no way for me to check if new code is functional or not. So, I'll just cover everything that's not in the change log, and if you manage to see a live, working version of something, just send in a screenshot.
If your device has Android 4.1 or higher, a new Google Search update is rolling out in the Play Store that brings a handful of new and useful features, which includes a couple of additional voice actions:
What's in this version:
For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean):
- Information about shows you're watching on your internet-connected TV (US only)*
- Saved offers when nearby a redemption location
- New voice action: play music from your phone or the Play Store
- Voice actions tips
* Requires phone/tablet to be on the same network as your TV
The most notable new features here are of course TV show information and voice actions to play music.
Doing searches from the Google Search app can be strangely slow on many devices, but the cause isn't obvious. The community might have figured it out, though. If you're sick of watching the Google Search app chug along on Android, this might fix you right up.
The cause is alleged to be the Search Applications Provider in Android, which returns a list of installed apps on the device to build suggestions.
I really want to live and eat more healthily, but lets be frank - it's rough. When it comes to exercising, staying disciplined is hard. When it comes to eating nutritious foods, ignorance is easy. For better or worse, that last excuse is going away now that Google is dragging nutrition information into search results. Ask your phone how many calories are in that bucket of popcorn, and let the guilt sink in.