Have you ever wanted to scale a giant mountain? It's a really cool thing to do that challenges you to reach your peak physical condition, invest heavily in gear, and the payoff is joining a tiny percentage of the population that can say they've seen the world from one of its highest points. Or you could just go to Google Maps, now that the company has added images taken from the peaks of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.
Remember that little diagonal arrow that used to appear next to suggestions in the Google Search box as you typed? The arrows could be used to insert suggestions into the search bar, while you kept typing away. For a while now, though, the arrows have been missing from Google Search. Those that want that feature back are in luck, however – astute Redditor Foxsbiscuits notes that a simple long-press will fling search suggestions into the search bar, providing essentially the same functionality with a slightly more discreet UI.
Google just pushed an update to its Search app (which, as you know, includes Google Now). Among the new additions are the Google Now widget that we've all been hearing so much about, movie ratings, the ability to pull up movie passes purchased from Fandango, and real estate listings from Zillow when Google thinks you're in the market for a home. Now that's fancy.
Additionally, the update also adds a music button when a song is playing in voice mode, though that feature is currently limited to the U.S.
Good news, basketball fans. Google has been gradually upgrading the Now service to include a wider range of sports teams, and today Division I NCAA basketball teams from all over the US can be manually added to your personal Now results. Go into the Google Now settings page, tap "Sports," and search for your favorite school. Only basketball is supported at the moment - here's hoping that football teams are added before the season starts.
One of the most often requested additions to Google Now's card system is college sports for the US, and it looks like at least some people are finally starting to see it. A very small number of Google Now users have seen cards appear for their favorite NCAA football and basketball teams (sorry, women's ice hockey fans, no dice). The results seem to be entirely contextual at the moment; you can't add college teams in the settings menu yet, but a few sports fans are seeing the relevant cards appear after they search for their team.
In a pair of new thirty-second ad spots, Google is showing off what it does best – search. The spots both feature Google's Search app for Android, using the same cozy, refined aesthetic as Google's other ads in recent memory, even showing off Search's new "search with camera" functionality.
The first spot follows the story of a nervous job candidate, gaining some insight into his prospective employer's interests with a last-minute Google search, while the second spot shows us a "smart Dad" who uses Google Search as a cheat sheet to answer his inquisitive son's astronomical questions.
Under the hood of Google Now, powering all those beautiful cards that pop up when you search for certain things, is Google's Knowledge Graph. In what might be the company's most ambitious project ever, Google aims to categorize and classify all information so that when you search for, say, Jeff Goldbum, the search engine knows you might also be interested in information about Chaos Theory or survival tips for raptor attacks.
If all this wide world of information is used for is to figure out who that one guy was in that movie you saw, it feels like a waste of a good future. Which is why it warms our hearts just a bit to see things like this: now, in both Google Search or Maps, if you search for information related to a a missing or abducted child, AMBER Alerts will now be included among your search results.
This is why it's great that Google unbundles core apps from the OS. While it might take a considerable amount of time before the newest version of Jelly Bean rolls out to your device, current Android 4.1 users can upgrade Google Search right now and get access to the latest improvements to Google Now. The list of fun new features includes additional cards (like Stocks, News, Concerts, and Packages), as well as voice actions, including the glorious ability to add events to your calendar with via speech.