Big Google Search Update + Experience Launcher now available for all Android 4.1+

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Chodite, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Chodite, Nov 13, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

    Chodite macrumors 6502a

    Chodite

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #1
    Just installed on my Note 3. So cool! Who needs a Nexus 5? ;)

    http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/1...y-fixes-gel-on-tablets-and-more-apk-download/

    Google Experience Launcher To All 4.1+ Devices, New Cards, Completely Fixes GEL On Tablets, And More [APK Download]

    A huge Google Search update started rolling out earlier today. It is absolutely massive on many levels:

    • It officially brings Search version 3 (3.1.8 to be exact) that shipped in KitKat to all devices running 4.1+. This includes an updated UI, new refresh animation, among other things.

    • Because Search houses the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) inside, this update also brings GEL to all devices running Android 4.1+. All you need to do after installing Search 3.1.8 is install the launcher app from here, and voila - GEL for all, not just KitKat devices. I have it running on 4.1, 4.3, and 4.4 on both phones and tablets, and it finally looks perfect.

    • As I mentioned above, 3.1.8 completely fixes the wonky GEL layout on tablets. As you may have seen yesterday, several things on the Nexus 7, for example, were out of whack - the keyboard was popping when you tapped Home, the icons were old, and the Search box was off-center. All fixed.
    Remember: GEL does support transparency in the navigation and status bars, but you need KitKat for that to work. And Google disabled it system-wide on the Nexus 10.

    • New cards:
    Website update card
    News topic card
    What to watch card
    Traffic incidents using Waze on maps.
    Recurring reminders.
    Real-time scores for rugby teams
    See when your packages are ready for in-store pickup.
    You can now bring back dismissed cards by pressing Undo.

    But seriously, did you see that? GEL for all, with the help of one additional APK, now optimized for devices other than just the Nexus 5. This is what we've been waiting for.

    Of course, Google should also upload the launcher stub that we need to install manually to the Play Store and make it really painless for everyone. I don't see any reason why this won't happen once they verify GEL works fine on as many hardware variations as possible.

    On that note, where did the individual card settings and toggles go? I can't find them anymore. Update: All card settings and toggles have been reworked into a series of menus and yes/no questions - just tap the wand at the bottom of Search to access them.
     
  2. maxwelltech macrumors 6502

    maxwelltech

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    Irvine, CA, USA
    #2
    Another step in the right direction. Thank you Google.
     
  3. Krimsonmyst macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #4
    Works well - although sadly the app icons haven't been updated for the larger pixel size, so some apps aren't as sharp as they could be.
     
  4. Chodite thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chodite

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #5
    I've installed both APKs and while the launcher is working fine, the "always on" (at least when at the home screen) Google search voice prompt is not. Anyone else?
     
  5. Krimsonmyst macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #6
    Is 'Always On' supposed to work for non 4.4 devices? I thought transparent status bar and always on listening was for 4.4 devices only.
     
  6. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    Have you got US English enabled as your system language / input method in all the applicable places.

    Ok Google only works with US English.
     
  7. three macrumors 6502a

    three

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Location:
    Washington State
    #8
    I'm glad that Google did this. I installed the APKs that were posted about a week ago and boy Google search was crashy no matter if I'd change the language. Excited for the stability.
     
  8. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #9
    Is this update available for UK people?

    Not seeing it yet.
     
  9. kevinof macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Dublin/London
    #10
    Not yet but the link in the first post has the download at the end. I just installed that and everything works great.

    Nice update.

     
  10. Chodite thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Chodite

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #11
    I do. Though I believe it's a 4.4-only feature. Will wait!
     
  11. hashholly macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    #12
    This works great with a Nexus 7 (2012) with no keyboard popups!
     
  12. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #13
    I have installed both of these apk's on my Nexus 7 and GEL works perfectly, as does conversational Google Now/Search.
    First link is the Google Now/Search updated apk, and the second one is the launcher so you can enable everything. May want to install in that order.

    https://db.tt/uYhWT4DG
    https://db.tt/feipIgzb
     
  13. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #14
    The problem with Google Now cards is that the navigation cards cannot launch Waze. It can only launch Google Maps.
     
  14. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #15
    I'm guessing here, but I would think the Waze team probably put something into the contract to prevent Google from shutting them down and keeping the service separate for a year, before the full integration occurs. I doubt we will ever see 'Waze' cards, as Waze info will just be sucked into Google Maps cards. Just a guess though.
     
  15. navajarunner macrumors regular

    navajarunner

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    #16
    "Ok Google" on home screen (while screen is on only) works with Note 2 running 4.1.2.
     
  16. JaySoul macrumors 68020

    JaySoul

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #17
    It's gone live for me this morning now.

    I got the Nexus 5, but am sending it back - so trying to make my new Galaxy S4 as similar as possible!

    Google Now is improving rapidly.
     
  17. viskon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    #18
    This is awesome. The "OK, Google" command works on the home screen on my S4.
     
  18. Krimsonmyst macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    #19
    Did you have to tweak anything to make this work? I installed search, then the launcher, but I can't get it to work...
     
  19. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #20
    Have you got your entire system set up for US English keyboard and system language and voice language.
     
  20. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #21
    Google is making use of Waze. Google Maps is starting to show info from Waze such as traffic collisions. Currently there is no facility in Google Maps for users to report such incidents. Waze allows its users to report things along their commute.

    When I look up a contact and decide to navigate to that destination, I can navigate using either Waze or Google Maps. However, I cannot do that from a Google Now card. From the Google Now card, I don't have to use Google Maps card to navigate to the destination. I have the option of using the GPS Navigator app that came with my phone. I find it interesting that Google Now cards, I can only navigate using 2 apps, but from my contacts, I can navigate using 4 different apps.
     
  21. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #22
    Yes, there is limited one way reporting from Waze to Google Maps, but I am not sure if that info is actually being sent to Google Maps directly from users. I think the Google servers are getting the data from Waze servers, but only inserting it when there is confirmation via passive GPS data coming from other Android users along the specified road or point of interest. This would explain why we don't see much in the way of Waze data in rural areas and why we don't see a million entries like "Crash located on I-5 - reported by xxx Waze user) in larger cities like say Los Angeles or New York. Unless Google gets confirmation, the entries from Waze are probably discarded.

    I don't believe Google Now has an open API (since it is part of GAPPS), while phone contacts is open source and can allow for code alteration by the OEMs, which means allowing 3rd party apps to integrate into it. This would explain why a Google proprietary app (Maps) can't or Google won't use Waze to navigate (yet).

    But again, I'm just guessing here. Pure speculation on my part.
     
  22. viskon macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    #23
    I didn't have to do anything. I got the Google Search update , installed the GEL launcher from the OP and that was it.
     
  23. samjwitwicky macrumors member

    samjwitwicky

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    #24
    I have a problem with the 3.1.8 update. Every time I use Google now and press home, it asks me for my default launcher. Even if pressed always. It does it every time. I've cleared defaults of the stock launcher, and it still does it!

    Once I uninstalled the 3.1.8 update, it works fine again. It seems to be a bug that affects some samsung devices.

    I wish they can fix this soon, I love the GEL launcher!
     
  24. ReanimationN macrumors 6502a

    ReanimationN

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    #25
    Rugby teams? Nice work Google, just in time for the off-season! :D
     

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