A handful of Google apps found themselves updated in the Google Play Store today (Hangouts, Google Search, Google Drive, Google Maps, Cloud Print, Newsstand). We’re sure you’ve already received the notifications and while all the updates bring minor new additions and obligatory bug fixes, it’s the new Google Search app that we found the most interesting.
Apparently, Google added a handful of new features — including English UK and Canadian voice actions — even going as far as rebranding the Google Experience Launcher as the “Google Now Launcher” when installed on your device. What’s more is for non-Nexus 5 devices, there’s also a handy tutorial that pops up after updating, asking if you’d like to copy the icons from your previous launcher over to the newly branded Google Now Launcher. It’s this change that makes us wonder if Google isn’t planning on releasing the Google Now Launcher into the Play Store in the near future, to be downloaded by all.
While Google is still contemplating that decision, we’ve got both the newly updated Google Search app and the Google Now Launcher ready to download and install via sideloading. Of course, if you’ve already updated your Google Search app (currently rolling out in waves), you can simply download the launcher by itself to get up and running. Both app downloads linked below.