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Google Now – the best thing about Android – may soon take over your phone

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:45PM EST
Google Now Launcher
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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The Nexus 5 has one piece of exclusive software that’s not officially available on other Android devices – the Google Experience Launcher that has Google Now/Search functionalities backed in right into the default launcher – and Google said that the feature would only be available on its latest Nexus phone. That may soon change, however, as the latest update to the Google Search app update has revealed, according to Android Police.

The publication says that the Google Search update is a major one, revealing among other things the official name for the Google Experience Launcher: Google Now Launcher. The fact that the launcher now has official branding seems to indicate that it may soon be available to Android users that have other devices, although Google has yet to make such a move official.

Google Now Launcher” name revealed in latest Google Search for Android app update | Image credit: Android Police

In the event that Google brings the Google Now Launcher to other devices, it would compete directly against many popular launcher apps as well as the custom launchers offered by Android device makers.

While the Google Search app’s update description says it only brings “bug fixes and performance improvements,” Android Police has discovered several new features for the app including the addition of an extra column on tablet home screens (six instead of five,) support for AirBNB reservations, support for U.K. and Canadian English, new animations for card bundles, a Winter Olympics 2014 Google Now card, TV provider customizations, and various cosmetic improvements.

A full unofficial change log is available at Android Police, with the publication also providing the APK download for the Search app – the Search app can also be updated directly on Android devices.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.