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Now saying 'Ok Google' to your Android phone can search inside apps

Chris Velazco, @chrisvelazco
November 12, 2014
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Android's Material Design facelift is eventually going to trickle down into the entirety of Google's services, but for now the folks in Mountain View are just trying to make sure all its apps look consistent. The latest in a long line of Android apps to get the redesign treatment is Google's Search for Android, but that new look just might be the least interesting thing about it. No no, with the update in place, you can just speak and have Google search within apps installed on your phone. Itching to pull up tracks on TuneIn or get cracking on your holiday travel plans through TripAdvisor? All it'll take is a quick "OK Google" command to get things started.

Naturally, this isn't going to work with every app right out of the gate -- developers have to specifically enable the functionality in their apps, though Google's been pushing to get them onboard since late October. Couple that with the ability to awaken some Lollipop-capable devices with the same "OK Google" command and we're starting to see the line between bog-standard smartphones and tiny, functional assistants blur.

Beyond better voice searches, the app can now get a better handle on your less-than-concrete plans, too -- it'll sift through your Gmail account and ask whether or not you really want to have drinks with Fred and Dave next Thursday. Oh, you do? Confirming your choice will add the event to your Google Calendar (and tell them we said "hey," it's been way too long). Of course, if the problem is that you can't decide what to do then there's something for that too -- ask Google to flip a coin and it will.

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