Google Gesture Search updated with new widget, bug fixes


Google Gesture Search has been dormant in the Play Store for more than a year, leaving one to wonder if it's one of those Google products destined for the great digital beyond.

However, Google pushed out a modest Gesture Search update this week, adding a home screen widget, a popup dialog on tablets, minor user interface tweaks, and the obligatory bug fixes.

Gesture Search lets you draw characters with your finger to search through contacts, apps, settings, music, and bookmarks. It analyzes your search habits over time to try and offer you the most relevant results. The app’s settings allow you to opt in or out to any of the search categories.

The new widget adds a button for Gesture Search and the three most recently used apps—think of it as a far less sophisticated version of Amazon's Fire OS carousel.

gesture search widget cropped

The new Google Gesture Search widget.

There are a few different ways to launch the search-by-drawing application. Along with the app and home screen widget, you can perform a “double flip” motion with the phone. Don't worry about accidentally activating the feature while you're walking: You can specify how sensitive you wish the device to be at responding to swinging your phone back and forth.

The icon is also new, with a creepy-looking, flesh tone-colored detached hand drawing with its index finger.

The Google Play Store lists the following changelog:

  • New app widget for quick launch of recent items.
  • Displayed as a popup dialog on tablets.
  • Bug fixes and UI improvements.
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