Three of Google’s most popular Android apps have been updated this week, with updates rolling out to all devices now. Search, YouTube and Play Music have all been the recipients of some interesting new features, including some that are long-requested, and others that point to where the apps may go in future..
Google Search 3.6 new features
Up first is v3.6 of Google Search, the app that not only powers the search box on your home screen but also Google Now. The highlight here is the implementation of deep linking within apps. This means Search won’t just point you to the web to find the answers to your questions but will also be able to link you directly to a page within the apps you’ve got installed. For instance, searching for a movie may prompt you to view the relevant page within the IMDB app. Apps will need to be updated for this.
Android Police, in its APK teardown, is also reporting that there has been some behind the scenes work on hands-free mode, with the potential implementation of a host of new resources. They’re not yet functional, however.
What’s new in YouTube 5.9
In v5.9 of the YouTube app there are a few usability enhancements revolving around creating playlists and saving videos. Tapping the three dots menu button for any video now includes a Save option for quick access via the sidebar.
Within a playlist the Like icon has been replaced with a Plus icon, which turns into a Tick when tapped, rather like in the new collections feature in Spotify.
Play Music, I’m feeling lucky and improved widgets
Finally, Play Music has been updated to v18.104.22.168, and brings with it a long waited re-design to its 4×1 widget for a more modern and refined look, and also adds a brand new 1×1 widget that shortcuts to the I’m feeling lucky radio service. In addition there are a few improvements to how the app works, including being able to resort the order in playlists by long pressing and item in the queue and dragging it into place.
All these apps will be rolling out to your Android phone and tablet in the coming days.