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Principal Designer For Google Search Jon Wiley Hosts AMA That Sheds Light On Design Process, Future Of Search

In case you missed it, Jon Wiley hosted an AMA session on Reddit yesterday. Wiley, as the principal designer for Google Search, had plenty of insight to share on topics from specific product features to what roles a tech company should play in its local community.

Sifting through the whole thread can take a while, so we thought it'd be helpful to pick out just a few of the most interesting responses for those who just want a quick taste.

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Google Search v3.4 Adds Voice Control Of Settings, But It's Not Quite Done Yet [Update]

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.

2014-05-01 01.55.51 2014-05-01 01.56.27 2014-05-01 01.56.58

In the new Google Search, you can say things like "turn WiFi off," and the device will automatically open the correct settings menu.

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[APK Download] Google Search v3.5.14 Brings 'OK Google' Hotword Detection To Any Screen, Even The Lockscreen And Display Turned Off

Not only is Google announcing all sorts of stuff today, but it's also updating a slew of its apps (it is Update Wednesday, after all). Today's Google Search update brings a huge improvement: "OK Google" hotword detection to any screen... even the lockscreen. If you're plugged into a charger, the feature will even work with the display off. This lines up with the earlier rumor that it was coming eventually.

dimmedOkGooglewojitter Screenshot_2014-06-27-04-07-57

Once enabled (Google Now > Settings > Voice > "Ok Google Detection"), you'll have to enable Audio History and say the words three time in order for Now to register your voice – much like setting up the hotword detection on the Moto X and recent Droid devices.

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Google Search On Android Now Gives You Direct Links To Music Apps If You Search For Artists (US Only For Now)

It would seem Google's added a new musical feature to Search queries on Android, with searches for specific musical artists now giving direct links to your installed music apps (including Spotify, Play Music, TuneIn, YouTube, iHeartRadio, and Rdio). What actually happens when you tap one of the shortcuts, shown below, seems to vary significantly depending on the app.

Screenshot_2014-06-19-16-03-39

For Play Music, you'll be sent to the artist's page, whereas for YouTube, you'll head to the topic for that artist.

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Google Search UI For Movie Showtimes Looks Different-y, Has Cards, Date Picker

As you well know, we're all about when Google changes stuff about things, and boy, did it ever change some stuff about things in the search UI for movie showtimes recently! We're not sure exactly when the update happened, but the movie showtimes layout has been significantly altered on both mobile and desktop to reflect Google's typical card-style layout.

Screenshot_2014-06-16-13-29-41 Screenshot_2014-06-16-13-29-57 Screenshot_2014-06-16-13-30-18

And here it is in desktop mode:

amc

Importantly, the new UI also now includes a date picker, so you can access showtimes for future days much more easily.

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Google Search On Android Is Having Trouble With, You Know, Searching For Many Users

For the last several days, an unknown number of Android users have been getting inconsistent results when using the built-in Google Search app on their phones and tablets. And by "inconsistent," I mean that they aren't getting any at all, instead being greeted by the enigmatic message "can't load search results" whenever they try to use it. While none of the Android Police staff have experienced this, threads on Google Code, Google Groups, and Reddit continue to receive replies.

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Google Search Is Ready For The World Cup With The Scoop On Match Schedules, Scores, Rosters, And More

Starting now, looking up information about the World Cup within the Google Search app will pull up specific details on who's playing where, who's competing next, and who's beating whom. The World Cup takes off next week, and rather than installing a dedicated app just to get the basics, Google has you covered.

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Google Search At Last Properly Handles Timer Queries With The Clock App

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.

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Google Search Adds YouTube Video Recaps To NBA Postseason Game Score Cards

If you missed that big game and want to catch up quickly, you can always tune into Sportscenter or any number of websites. But if you want to do so as fast as humanly possible, Google is happy to oblige with a new addition to the ever-expanding search functions. For the latest NBA games in the US, Google is adding short video recaps to the score cards that automatically appear when you search for a team or a game.

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Xposed GEL Settings Module Is Back From The Dead, Now Works With Newest Google Search/Launcher Update [Updated]

A Google Search update is usually an occasion to celebrate – not only do we get new Google Now cards, but the Google Now Launcher can also be augmented with new features and tweaks. But all was not well when Google Search 3.4 rolled out. Users of the popular Xposed GEL Settings Module (XGELS) found that it no longer worked. The developer was pessimistic at first, but now it's back.

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