There are a few noteworthy changes in the latest Google Search update, but we've spotted one more that deserves some exploration. Ever since Google rolled out its new voice interactions as part of Google Now, settings control has been strangely absent. With v3.4 it's kind of there.
Update 6/30/14: Search v3.5 seems to have added Bluetooth support, but it still doesn't do what you really want it to.
In the new Google Search, you can say things like "turn WiFi off," and the device will automatically open the correct settings menu.
Google has just announced its second new app in one day, releasing Google My Business to the Play Store. With the goal of "helping your business shine," My Business offers smart insights for your Google-connected business. From Google+ page insights to the ability to update your company's information, My Business helps you find and connect with "your people."
The app offers insights on your business' appearance in search, how users interact with you on Google+, and how you're displayed in services like search and Maps, with the option to update your information any time.
Google Now is seemingly getting smarter almost everyweek, at least that's how often we seem to run into subtle (but clever) changes. By now you probably know that with Google Now, you can set reminders for just about anything. "OK Google, remind me to call the doctor tomorrow at noon" will let you set that reminder with a single tap.
But did you know that Google Now will parse your queries for known associations with phone numbers and add a Call button automatically?
Action Launcher developer Chris Lacy has rolled into the latest beta a feature that just appeared in Nova Launcher two days ago. After signing up for the beta and getting everything good to go, just hop over into the app's settings to toggle the feature on. From then on, you can say "OK Google" from the homescreen to have it pull up a Google search a la the Google Now Launcher.
There's a cool new feature lurking in your Google search results, but you're not likely to ever come across it on your own. The next time you're looking for a recipe, try adding filters to find just the right one. You'll find it buried in the search tools.
When Google detects that you've searched for a food, the search tools menu will gain these recipe-specific filters. You can access it on mobile by tapping the "More" dropdown, then choosing "Search tools" at the bottom of the list.
A while ago, we posted about information we'd received indicating that sometime soon, Google's search functionality (and other actions) would be expanding beyond the Search app, moving into other apps for device-wide search interaction and - eventually - app-specific functionality.
It appears that isn't the only Search trick Google is working on, though. According to the information available to us, Google is working on functionality for now known as KITT (get it?) or "Android Eyes Free" internally.
Several days ago, it was brought to our attention that Google's Search app finally allowed completely touchless reminders, whereby a user could set a reminder from start to finish without touching the device. Previously, reminders required a touch confirmation at the end of the process. Now, the "voice of Google" simply asks if the user would like the reminder to be set. Saying "yes" will complete the interaction.
It seems this isn't the only server-side switch Google is pulling, though.
Back in April, we posted a rumor that Google Now was on track to properly handle timer queries (like "set a timer for five minutes") using the clock app's built in timer functionality, rather than simply setting an alarm.
Nearly a month later, we saw mention of the functionality in a teardown of the Search app itself, and today it looks like that functionality has finally been switched on.
Users who say "Set a timer for [time]" will be greeted with a card letting them know the timer is about to commence, with the option to skip straight to starting the timer.
Google knows when you've been looking up a particular device or product through its search engine, because that's targeted advertising gold. Now there's a new card in Google Now that helps you turn fantasy into reality by telling you where you can get that thing you've been searching for in real life.
It's Wednesday, and you know what that means – yes, Google is updating apps. This week we've got a search update to version 3.4 and it has some good stuff going on. We're still checking it out, but it looks like automatic parking detection is a go. Or stop... whatever.