Google updated their app this week over on Android, bringing the app to v5.4. Now the Google App does a lot of functions, it controls Google Now, Search and many other things. So this update is a pretty nice one to have, and is never a small update. One of the things that was fixed with this update is the swipe animation. So in the previous version, a card that was swiped away would have a gray box there, until you completely swiped it away. But now that is gone, and it swipes away like normal, and as you’d expect.
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Google also brought in Accessible settings for places. So now, if you open up the slide-out menu and tap on customize, you’ll see a new section at the top which has options to set the location of home or work. This feature isn’t actually new, as we’ve been able to set our home and work addresses for a while, but it appears that Google brought that feature into the Google app so users can find the settings faster and easier. Adding in your home or work address is a neat feature, as Google Now will estimate your commute, tell you when you need to leave to arrive on time as well as alert you to construction on your route to or from work.
Now onto the good stuff. In the teardown, there’s a new set of strings in the code which point to a new Android Wear App. There is a new file name “wear_app_desc”. The file is there to help your smartwatch figure out if the app should be paired with the device. There’s another piece of code in the app that tells us that the app is a “card sync provider” which obviously doesn’t tell us a whole lot about what the actually app is going to do once it’s available. However, it does sound like it could take over the cards on the watch, which currently are updated when the firmware on the watch is updated. This way Google could update it without going through their partners, and simply updating through the Play Store.
You can find the new version of the Google app on the Google Play Store right now, and it’ll be rolling out to everyone in the next few days.