Following the rollout of the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, Google is pushing out an update to the Google Search app, to bring it a bit closer to the Search app on Android 4.4 in terms of functionality, for all devices on Android 4.1 and above. The update adds the option for users in the US to use the “Ok Google” to initiate a voice search, and also makes the search results considerably more attractive than before.
There are new “What to watch,” News topic,” and “Website update” cards for Google Now, and the update also brings a few Siri-like conversational voice commands, to allow users to have a more natural dialog within Search, in instances where multiple options exist for a particular query or command, such as placing a call to a contact with multiple numbers.
However, the most exciting feature in the update is something Google probably wants to hide – support for the new Google Experience Launcher that debuted on and is exclusive to the Nexus 5. The new launcher is integrated into the Search app on Android 4.4 KitKat, and until now, running in on earlier versions of the OS and non-Nexus devices required users to manually install both the Search and launcher apps taken from the Nexus 5. With the update to Search, the process is now much simpler and shorter as the launcher support is built-in, which means you only need to install the launcher APK to start using the awesome new Google launcher on any device running on Android 4.1 and above.
The update is available on the Play Store and gradually rolling out to users at the moment, though if you’re unwilling to wait, you can grab the APK file for both Search and the launcher from the links below and take matters into your own hands.