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.
At the end of last year, a Google Search update came out that added a "Search with Camera" feature. With Google Search, you could fire up your camera, snap a picture of something, and it would do an image search - it was basically Google Goggles integration. Besides the usual Goggles stuff, it was also really useful for scanning QR codes.
But, a few days ago, when the Search 2.5 update hit, "Search With Camera" got kicked to the curb.
You forgot Mother's Day. Again. With Father's Day coming up wouldn't it be nice to have a reminder among your often-used Google Now cards, in addition to the ones you've set in Google Calendar, Google Keep, and the sea of sticky notes attached to your monitor? It's possible to set holiday and movie reminders within Google Now on your device, but now you've got another alternative: setting reminders via a Knowledge Graph search on your desktop.
Listen up, Android users. If you're using Google Now, don't go to its Settings -> My Stuff and try to modify sports teams or stocks right now, as doing so completely borks the whole app. As soon as you go back to the main screen or click into Search, you will experience a force close. Repeated attempts to restart it will result in a crash as well:
The only thing that works is clearing out Google Search's data in Settings -> Applications, after which you need to re-enroll into Google Now.