Google Search update reveals new launcher name, expands voice support

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.

Source: Google Play, Android Police, Android Central

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!