Google Search update arrives on Nov 13th, upcoming features detailed


Google Search Now KitKat

When Google blindsided the world with the release of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat, we couldn’t shake the feeling that things may have been rushed on Google’s end. After finally receiving the Nexus 5 and playing around with KitKat firsthand, our initial experience only further reinforced that sentiment.

Recently reviews for the Nexus 5 have been popping up online (ours is coming soon), some offering additional insight from Google themselves on KitKat, and what’s coming around the bend. Wire’s Mathew Honan spoke with Google during his Nexus 5 review for Wired and according to him, a Google Search app update is coming November 13th (the same day the Moto G will be announced) and will bring additional features to Google Now.


Similar to Siri, users will be able to create a sort of dialog with the Google Search app. No, it wont have Siri’s witty banter, but the Search app will follow up with questions to commands where multiple options exist. For instance, if you tell Google Now to call someone in your contacts, it will ask you to specify which contact when different contacts share the same name. “Okay Google. Call John.” Search will then ask, “Which John?” and you’ll be able to speak back and specify. Things like that.

Google Search will also be able to launch apps from within search. Looking for pizza? Google Search will have an option to open the Dominoes app already installed on your phone. Searching for Thor The Dark World info? Flixter can be opened directly from search to provide you with additional info.

Google is also promising to infuse Google Now with more location based information. For instance, when visiting a national park (Yellowstone was provided as an example), Google Now will automatically show you geyser times, without ever having to ask it a single question. Seamless, and in the background.

These are just some of the new additions said to hit Google Search on November 13th. Still up in the air is if all these features will be exclusive to KitKat, or if Google will throw Android users still on Jelly Bean (roughly 52.1% of active users) a bone.

[via Reddit]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Maybe Google Now will finally come to ICS with this update.

    1. It won’t.

  2. Now location reporting still a battery hog. Fix that!

    1. yeah, not sure why you’re getting downvoted but if you ACTUALLY go anywhere and travel around your device constantly updates your location with no way to control how often this occurs. Not really a problem most of the time, if say you’re going to work and then home and maybe some other places but if you travel somewhere you don’t typically go your battery will be dead without your knowing why.

      It’s happened to me and every other person I know that has location settings enabled. You used to be able to utilize backitude or similiar apps to state an interval of say an hour and when plugged in (in your car) to update every 15 seconds. Too bad Google doesn’t incorporate any of those features. More over, now that everything in intertwined, you need to either turn off location settings in google settings completely or leave it on. You can’t tweak individual apps on specific devices if you’re using multiple devices and want to utilize specific apps on each individual device. If I have location sharing enabled on Google Plus on my tablet it needs to be enabled on my phone, same with google now and maps etc.

      1. Maybe because it isn’t the location that is killing the battery? You can set it to only use coarse location (low battery use) -> which is set by default.

  3. O’s fan. There have been hacks to get Google now on ICS for ages. Give it a quick Google.

  4. When are they actually going to let you start controlling the phone, as well as set timers? This is the one area where Siri is better, and frankly I find it more useful because of that.

    1. Asking Siri to set a timer? Wouldn’t it be faster to set a widget?

      Also, Google Now can set timers

      1. As of v4.3 (I don’t have kitkat yet), you can set alarms, but not timers. You can’t pause alarms :P

        1. Really? Cuz when I ask it to “‘set timer for 10 minutes”, it does just that. (Nexus 4, 4.3)

          1. It sets an alarm on mine :| Maybe I don’t have the newest version that’s rolling out.

          2. I’m in the same boat as you. I can’t set a timer. It sets as an alarm.

    2. It lets you can set the timer.

  5. “Google blindsided the world with the release of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat”

    Really??? We are talking about the most leaked device ever here.

    1. sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text form

      1. haha had a feeling that was the case here

      2. You’re right. I didn’t read that as him being sarcastic.

    2. Oh my gosh!! IKR!? Down to the point where they showed it in storage ready to be shipped.

      This should have an unofficial award for the Most Leaked Device.

  6. check out the Full Nexus 5 review with full phone specifications right here!

  7. I just like the fact that I can edit what pops up on my Google Now. E.g. Nearby Places was useless for me, now I can remove it along with other stuff I don’t need.

  8. I was HOPING for a Nexus 5 update where we get REAL moto x always listening commands. As in OK GOOGLE will wake the phone from sleep, and will work from anywhere within the phone, was disappointed to see it only works when screen is on and in home screens
    Not very Moto X like at all

    1. agreed, it’s pretty useless really as you will have already had to touch the phone to unlock it, it’s then quicker to press the mic icon than to say “OK Google”

      1. The problem is that the Moto X has a very low powered, dedicated processor for just that. Not so with the Nexus 5.

        1. Wrong. ->

          You wouldn’t happen to own a Moto X would you…

    2. The problem is that the Moto X has a very low powered, dedicated processor for just that. If the Nexus 5 tried it without that tiny processor, it would have to be using the main cores. We’re talking extreme battery loss if the phone can’t hibernate correctly. So, that’s why it’s not cropping up, even in custom ROMs, for other phones. Most phones would only last 8-10 hours if you never turned the screen on. It’s just too much of a battery killer.

      1. The SnapDragon 800 has a low powered core designed exactly for always listening. The feature is called Snap Dragon Voice activation. I don’t understand why people keep using the same excuse.

        1. source

          1. LoL!! Although I hate it when people tell me to Google things, they should have looked it up first.

            Usually when I can’t find something, I put that I couldn’t find it and what I put in the search box.

        2. Check the release again. Snapdragon may have that option in the chipset, but it’s not a given. “Both devices and software support must fall into place to make Voice Activation work…”

  9. Im already amazed by how much Google Now does. If it gets better it would be even more amazing.

  10. My friend was like “Read me my email” to his iPhone trying to impress me. So, will the update include this “read me my email” thingy?

    1. try speaktoit (Assistant), it’s been doing things like this and more for a long time

    2. Every time someone has tried to impress me with siri, it never does what they want. It’s actually quite entertaining.

  11. hey all, i’m an android newbie. is there a way to get google voice search as the default on my samsung note 3 instead of samsung’s voice comman (which IMHO is pretty shabby)

    1. if you mean by double tapping the home key, they yes. Open s-voice and disable the option to launch with the double tap of home. Then download home2shortcut and configure it to launch either the google search app or voice search.

      1. I’ve done this. I’ve had the double tap open google search, but when I long press the menu button it opens up google voice search. The best of both worlds right at my fingertips! FYI, I’m on an S3…

  12. Will it come with touchless control? The Launcher is pretty much Google Search anyway

  13. When google now first released I was a bit skeptical that it wasn’t going to be a hit, but as they keep adding more things into it, it’s just becoming more and more relevant to my day to day life. With all the location and web search data they collect, google now will be capable of great things.

  14. You will be stalked by Google through your phone and targeted with ads accordingly, great! Really not so great!
    Google is not Evil just Crafty and Sneaky with little Sinister to boot.

    1. I don’t think Google has ever made a secret of the formula for Android – give it away for free and reap the benefits of people using Google services.

      1. Hmm, I am a long time (16 years) Linux user and Linux has always been free, without ads or any other attachments.

        1. Oh well then you should run Linux on your phone.

          1. Aren’t they technically doing that with Android? LoL!!

            Also, I don’t get what they’re talking about. Android doesn’t have ads, it’s the applications within them.

          2. It’s true, Android is built on the Linux kernel. And yeah, you’re right – if you just want Android without all the Google tracking and ads, you can run AOSP.

    2. Every company out there has no other purpose than to make money at the expense of their customers; privacy and all. That said, at least Google is up front about it and gives us enough free s*** to not care.

      1. An example of craftiness and sneakiness.

    3. First of all, you’re assuming that these companies know who you are. They are collecting anonymous data. Though I’m sure you’re going to say some bull and be all like “that’s what they want you to think”.

      Google has NO idea who you are. They see the device with an email attached to the phone. Certain addresses and lifestyles are attached to this email.

      And I know you’re not upset that they’re targeting ads according to you. Like why is that bad thing? I mean, I love seeing ads about cell phones and trucks. I’m actually willing to watch those. I don’t want to see no ad about some diapers or garden tools. That’ll make me just go and pirate what I’m watching.

  15. I love Now, it has been extremely useful for my work travels. Can’t wait for the update!

  16. LoL!! I know those pictures don’t have 1X as their data. That is not good marketing.

  17. the app we took from nexus 5 already does all that -.-

    1. it’s buggy shouldn’t have to do backflips to fix a bug that persistantly comes back I’m down for an official release

  18. these new updates are really on point and all, but the abillity for google now to be able to do basic functions on the phone like lower screen brightness, or turn on WIFI and the likes will be highly welcomed!


  20. Where is the update??

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