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Google Panda Is The Search Engine's Most Adorable Form Yet, Launching Only In Japan For April Fools

Google has spent years putting its search functionality into as many form factors as it can manage. It all started with desktops and laptops. From there, Search hopped to phones. Now we see it making its way into TVs, watches, and cars.

Today, the tech giant has announced a new product offering that's more adorable than any that has come before. Meet Google Panda.

GooglePanda1

To use Google Panda, you simply ask the stuffed animal a question.

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Shortcuts For Waze Makes It Easier To Search Or Navigate From Your Homescreen

Even though many of Waze's features for traffic and incident reporting have been implemented in Google Maps over the past months, the standalone app remains available for those who prefer it and have grown used to it. However, while Google Maps integrates with Google Now and has handy homescreen shortcuts, Waze still lacks an easy way to launch the app directly into a search or navigation. That's the shortcoming that Shortcuts for Waze aims to solve.

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Google Has Apparently Fixed The Reminders Voice Command Bug

Some bugs only cause problems for a select few users, but that was not the case when Google bungled the reminders voice command in a recent update to its back end. A lot of people noticed. Instead of setting a reminder when you asked for one, Google Search would set an alarm, which isn't really as useful. Now that appears to be fixed.

2015-03-25 09.20.24

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Google Play Music v5.8.1836R Adds YouTube Music Videos In Search Results [APK Download]

Play Music's v5.8 rolled out last month with a slew of fixes and improvements to make the app fit better with Material Design's guidelines and provide some added functionality like biography and history for artists, and a previous song button in the collapsed notification. The app has since seen a few incremental changes, but the latest v5.8.1836R got a rare treatment from Google: an official changelog. So it must be something important, right?

google-play-music-search-youtube-videos-1 google-play-music-search-youtube-videos-2

Well, yes and no.

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YouTube Updated To v10.10 With Option To Search For 4K Videos [APK Download]

A fresh update for YouTube began rolling out today, bumping the version number to 10.10. This appears to be a fairly minor release, as it only includes some visual tweaks and adds the new 4K video search filter. Still, it might appeal to anybody with a screen and hardware that supports super high-def video. There's a download link below if you're anxious to give it a try.

What's New

2015-03-18 21.34.092015-03-18 21.53.382015-03-18 22.01.40

Left: previous version.

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Google Search v4.3 Update Is Rolling Out [APK Download]

The Google Search app plays host to quite a few features and capabilities we take for granted on our phones, especially for anybody that makes extensive use of Google Now and the Google Launcher. An update just started rolling out that brings the app up to v4.3, but there aren't any immediately obvious changes in this release, at least not from a user-facing perspective. It's likely that this release is preparing for the soon to be open Cards API that will allow developers to insert their own content into the Google Now stream.

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Google Plans To Release Open API For Google Now Cards

At South by Southwest, Aparna Chennapragada, Director of Product Management for Google Now offered a glimpse into the future of the feature which has become the heart of the search experience on Android. According to Chennapragada, the company plans to have a full API for Google Now cards ready soon. This will expand on the previously announced pilot program consisting of apps like Pandora, Lyft, and others.

exampleforpandora airbnbnowcard

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[Is It 5 O'Clock Yet?] Google Search Can Now Tell You How To Make Cocktails

There are countless cocktail varieties out there and just as many ways to go about making them (one approach being to point at the menu when the waiter comes around). Going forward, folks looking to make their own won't even have to click a link to figure out a recipe. Google will start providing instructions right at the top of their search results.

The directions won't appear if you only search for the name of a cocktail.

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Forbes' Interview With Sundar Pichai Hints At An Uncoupling Of The Various Google+ Entities, Further Monetization Options On Mobile, And Google's Future Strategies

The Czar has spoken. After his anointment as Google's Senior Vice President of Products last October, which put him in charge of Chrome, Android, search, ad technology, Google+, Maps, social, commerce and infrastructure, Sundar had been operating in incognito mode, occasionally letting loose a few tidbits of information, like Inbox' deployment to Apps users. In a recent interview with Forbes, the man behind most of the things we talk about here on Android Police has answered some interesting questions regarding his vast portfolio of products, tried to put an end to a few concerns, and remained mum about other issues.

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Google Is Testing Live Hangouts Chat With Businesses In Search Results

Even though Helpouts didn't last, Google is apparently committed to exploring new uses for its Hangouts chat infrastructure. For example, go search for a restaurant. You might see a new item in the info box alongside review snippets and the location. Google is testing live chat with businesses from search results. If you launch this feature, you'll be taken to a new Hangouts conversation on the web or mobile so you can ask questions or get clarification.

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