App update extravaganza brings new features to Search, Maps, more

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 5 Feb 2014

You may have noticed that your Notifications panel was filled to the brim with “app updated” status messages today. That’s because stealthily released a whirlwind of updates to several of its core applications, including Drive, Maps, most significantly, Search.

Drive has been updated with a new 1×1, button-size widget to help you easily access a document with one click. You can set it up like you would an Android bookmark the tile will launch to the document of your choosing. Drive has also fixed a few bugs added support for animated GIFs.

ay Newsst now features Mini cards a widget you can pin to your Android tablet’s Home screen, while Maps includes a heap of new features, including live traffic re-routing, an option to avoid ferries while driving, walking, or cycling, an option to select your preferred transit mode. The update also enables you to check for Offers when you’re near a location that offers them. Both Hangouts Cloud int also received an update for bug fixes.

google updates

Maps now lets you choose your perferred method of transportation (left), while Drive lets you set a bookmark for a document you need often (right). 

As for the Search app, Android lice reports that it includes a substantial update to phones with Android 4.4 KitKat. Though doesn’t mention any changes on the app’s official change log (usually found at the bottom of its ay page), the Now uncher—as it’s now called—starts up with a splash screen on startup that will ask you to import your icons folders from your old uncher app. Note that you won’t see the update with the Nexus 5, as it already features the built-in Now stub app. Now has also added AirBNB reservations a few new expable Card types.

Since these are staged rollouts, you may not see the updates to your apps immediately.