Google Search for Android updated with new features for Google Now and Voice Search

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| December 5, 2012

Google today announced an update to its Search app for Android that includes enhancements to Google Now as well as some new Voice Search features. The Google Now additions are focused on travelers, enabling users on Android 4.1 or 4.2 to view the weather at their destination and some recommended events and websites to help them find things to do once they arrive there. Google Now will also be able to pull up a user's boarding pass as a scannable QR code once he or she arrives at the airport. The boarding pass feature will be supported for United Airlines initially, but Google says that support for more airlines is coming.

On the Voice Search side of things, users will be able to identify songs by asking "What's this song?" and will also be able to instruct their device to find information on a product by telling the app to "Scan this barcode." The update will also enabled Google+ users to post to their page with their voice.

The new features being introduced into the Google Search app today sound like they could come in handy for a lot of users, especially those that travel a lot and tote around a Jelly Bean-powered device. It's kind of a bummer that the boarding pass functionality is currently limited to one airline, especially since that seems like one of the most useful features, so here's to hoping that Google can get some more airlines on board quickly. If you've got a Jelly Bean handset and want to give these new features a go, you can find the Google Search app on the Play Store right here. The changelog for the update is below.

What's in this version:

For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean), Google Search keeps getting faster, plus:

New cards:

  • Events nearby
  • Suggestions to help with your research
  • Boarding passes from Gmail (United only, more to come)
  • Search by camera when at museums or shops
  • Weather at upcoming travel destinations
  • Approximate monthly summary of walking and biking activity

New voice actions:

  • Post to Google+
  • Say "What's this song?" to find the song you hear
  • Say "Scan a barcode" to find product info

Via Official Android Blog, Google Play