The Google Search app just keeps getting better and better. Google recently updated the Android Search app to Verizon 2.7.9. The update is available right now and you can find it here. Android Police did a full APK teardown and found some good things under the hood. There are not only the changes listed on the Google Play Store, but also some things that Google may be introducing in the future. Let's start with the new stuff that came with the app update.
The updated Search app has a new area in the Settings. It can be found in Settings-> My Stuff-> Reminders. There's now a listing for Ongoing reminders. The default setting for your upcoming reminders is Upcoming. Old reminders go into Past. The new Ongoing heading is for some new functionality. Namely, reminders for TV shows, books, and albums. It works like this: do a Google search for your favorite TV show, say, Game Of Thrones. Search will add a card with information about Game Of Thrones, and that card will have a Remind Me button. Once you hit the button, you'll get Ongoing reminders about Game Of Thrones. Pretty sweet, right?
There's also support for reminders This weekend. This one is not a big change. Search used to display these reminders as a day of the week. Now they just say Weekend.
One of the best updates to the Search app is the ability to download images straight from an image search. The image that you are saving is shown in the Notification area like normal. It's much, much easier to save an image from a search now.
New Time/Date Pickers
The updated Search 2.7 app uses new time and date pickers now, too. They have been available in Google Calendar since last May, and now they're in Google Search.
New Loyalty Programs Card
This update also brings a brand new Google Now card named Loyalty Programs. It doesn't do much, since the Loyalty and Gift cards were removed from Google Wallet on August 21. Maybe Google has something else up its sleeve? Or maybe Google just forgot to cut this from Google Now when it was cut from Wallet.
Translate Button Changed To Open In Google Translate
It's a pretty simple change, but the Translate card that appears when you are travelling now says Open in Google Translate instead of simply Translate.
New Next Appointment Card
There is a new Next Appointment card that will let you select the calendars that you want to see. This is great because you can now weed out the calendars that you don't want to see in Notifications and for the Next Appointment card.
Sound Search Error Sped Up
With the old Sound Search, if your data connection was weak or wasn't available the app would just hang indefinitely after it was done listening. Now, Sound Search will give you an error right away when there's no data connection available.
Reminders Have A New Remind Me In 10 Minutes/1 Hour Button
When you get a reminder, there's now an option to snooze it for 10 minutes. When you push 10 minutes, it changes to 1 hour so you can set a longer snooze time if you want.
New Stuff That May Be Coming
That's the new stuff that is already in the Google Search app update. Let's move on to some new things that might be coming in a future update. These things are just what are found in the app code, they could get added in a future update or they could just get dropped. We don't know.
Google Search voice activation is currently set to the hotword "Google." We would love to be able to activate a search by setting a custom hotword, and that capability may be on its way. This would allow you to wake up the Google Search app by saying whatever you want. Fun, right?
Auto-updating Language Packs
Currently, you can download language packs for offline use, but they are not updated unless you do it manually. Google is working hard to improve language recognition, and they will want to keep those offline language packs up to date. Automatic updates are on their way, and there will also be a separate tab for configuring your auto-update settings.
Multiple Choice Training Questions
The updated Google Search app has some new files that relate to training the app and asking users' questions. These questions may appear on the back of Google Now cards, we're not quite sure. Some of the questions have simple yes/no answers, some questions are multiple choice.
Some of the questions may be answered remotely, too.
There are also a lot of new icons and buttons related to training the app.
- btn_training_next, btn_training_no, btn_training_prev, btn_training_yes
- ic_training_add, ic_training_biking, ic_training_driving, ic_training_edit, ic_training_hide, ic_training_people, ic_training_public_transit, ic_training_show, ic_training_tempunits, ic_training_walking
New Features Being Tested
There are some secret flags that enable a variety of things in the app, too. These are related to these new features that may be coming in a future version of the Google Search app. We don't know what all of them do or even what they relate to, necessarily.
Feature("FOLLOW_ON", 3, false);
FORCE_EYES_FREE = new Feature("FORCE_EYES_FREE", 4, false);
FORCE_CAR_MODE = new Feature("FORCE_CAR_MODE", 5, false);
LANGUAGE_PACK_AUTO_DOWNLOAD = new Feature("LANGUAGE_PACK_AUTO_DOWNLOAD", 6, false);
LOG_CONTACT_DATA = new Feature("LOG_CONTACT_DATA", 7, false);
REMINDERS_LEAVING_TRIGGER = new Feature("REMINDERS_LEAVING_TRIGGER", 8, false);
REMINDERS_WEEKEND = new Feature("REMINDERS_WEEKEND", 9, true);
SEARCH_HISTORY_IN_APP = new Feature("SEARCH_HISTORY_IN_APP", 10, false);
TEST_FEATURE = new Feature("TEST_FEATURE", 11, false);
TTS_NOVICE_MODE = new Feature("TTS_NOVICE_MODE", 12, false);
TTS_PREFIX_USERNAME = new Feature("TTS_PREFIX_USERNAME", 13, false);
TWO_STEP_DISAMBIG = new Feature("TWO_STEP_DISAMBIG", 14, false);
SHOW_LOGGING_TOASTS = new Feature("SHOW_LOGGING_TOASTS", 15, false);
There are some new debug options in the app as well. There is nothing much to see with those unless you are a developer.
That's it! The Google Search is only going to continue to improve. We're excited about what is on its way to users.