A new look and more smarts for the Google app
‘Tis (almost) the season—which means end-of-year work deadlines are competing with plans to connect with friends and family. With new updates to the Google app, it’s easier to stay sane as you juggle work and play.
An Android Lollipop treat: new design to make what matters most pop
Whether you’re searching for the best sushi in Chicago, or you’re researching Van Gogh’s Irises for a school paper, you might notice the results you see in the Google app look a bit spiffier. That’s because we’re beginning to roll out Material Design to search, with bold colors, fluid animations and simplified layouts. (You’ll see this if you’ve got your hands on one of the newest devices running Android Lollipop.)
Plus, if you own a Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or Samsung Galaxy Note4, here’s a power tip: you can now set up your phone so you can say “Ok Google” to ask a question even if your screen is off and your phone is unplugged—say, when you’re cooking and need a quick unit conversion without getting dough all over your phone.
Reminders for your half-baked plans
You can also rely more and more on the Google app to help you organize your life: you may notice a new card asking if you want to be reminded of, say, “dinner with Chris” or “drinks with Susan.” For those times you’ve gotten an email about something but forgotten to follow up, Google can now catch potential plans buried in your Gmail: it’ll prompt you to add them to your calendar then serve up reminders, so you can stay on top of staying in touch.
As you scramble to get through the end of the year, the app will also help you keep track of your trips (whether you’re seeing the family on Thanksgiving or jetting to Vegas for New Year’s eve), to-do lists (did you pay your utility bill? pick up the wine for your Christmas party?) and more (the Bulls score, where you parked your car) with Now cards.
Google can now help you search for exactly what you need—even if it’s in another app. With a simple prompt like “Ok Google, search Tumblr for ‘Things Organized Neatly’” Google will take you right into the app. This now works with a number of apps, so you can also research the best Maui hotels on TripAdvisor, listen to your jam on TuneIn, find a dream home on Trulia, or get tips on how to carve a turkey on YouTube — right from the Google app. Try it out next time you need a shortcut.
And, your Google app now doubles as a virtual coin
Korean BBQ or pizza? Interstellar or St. Vincent? So many questions in life can be decided with a quick coin flip. Save those quarters for laundry and parking meters—just say “Ok Google, flip a coin” and make those decisions in a snap.
So as you figure out the rhythm of work and play around the holidays, try out some of the new ways Google can help.