Google is rolling out an update for its Android search app, bringing it to version 3.1.8, (the KitKat Google Search app version,) thus indirectly helping users enjoy a better experience when unofficially installing the Nexus 5-exclusive Google Experience Launcher.
Google Search 3.1.8 brings several improvements to devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or later, including new design and features.
As listed by Android Police, you can expect “an updated UI, new refresh animations,” a fix for the “wonky” Google Experience Launcher layout on tablets, but also new Google Now cards including a Website update card, News topic card, What to watch card, as detailed by Google:
If you’re a fan of a particular blog, the Website update card can bring you things like the latest post so you’ll never miss a story, and the News topic card brings you fresh articles from the web on topics you care about. The What to watch card gives you Movie and TV recommendations when you’re staying in.
Other features include Waze-based traffic incidents for Maps, repeat reminders, rugby scores and updates for in-store package pickups.
The most important feature – at least for some people – is the Google Experience Launcher, and it’s not official. While the launcher is not included in Google Search 3.1.8, the app update makes it easier to use it for those people interested in running it on devices other than the Nexus 5.
We’ll remind you that the new launcher on the Nexus 5 is actually part of the Google Search app, but Google will not bring it officially to other handsets that will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat, no matter whether they’re Nexuses or not.
Even so, the Google Experience Launcher is unofficially available to download and install on Android smartphones and tablets (and has been available for a few weeks now), but in order to enjoy a better launcher experience, you should update your Google Search app to 3.1.8 before side-loading the launcher’s APK – not that we’re advising you to install unofficial APKs on your devices.
The Google Search 3.1.8 APK is available for download by either following the links below, or updating the app directly on your devices.
Are you getting Google’s new launcher as well?