Google Search may not be an app a lot of us think about very often, if only because of how baked-in it can be to our phones; saying “OK Google” to begin a voice search is a world removed from an application you need to pick out of your launcher. But despite a tendency to fly under the radar, Search is a key component to Google’s Android services, and updates can bring some significant changes. Today one hits Google Play with the only differences described as “bug fixes and performance improvements,” but we’re already learning about some more interesting developments.
For one, there’s the Nexus 5′s launcher – or officially, the Google Experience Launcher. At least, that was its name, but today’s update sees it renamed to the Google Now Launcher. You probably won’t even notice the change, as the name isn’t displayed very prominently, but it’s definitely happening. While “Google Experience” connotes exclusivity (like the limited line of GPe devices), the switch to “Google Now” may imply that the launcher is about to see wider availability.
We also learn that voice search is growing to accommodate UK English. Sure, Commonwealth users could always switch their language preference to US English to make things work in a pinch, but this new support is a much more graceful solution, and implements an English accent for the service’s own voice.
The updated Google Search is available in the Play Store now.