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Material Design Update for Google Now

11-14-14Google has released an update to the Google Now app this week. The material design that Google has been applying to their apps and Android 5.0 has been worked into the new design for Google now, adding bolder colors, fluid animations, and simplified layouts. If you happen to have a device with Android 5.0 Lollipop you may have already noticed the changes.

In addition to a new design that looks a bit nicer, the app has some new features. If you have one of the latest Nexus devices or a Galaxy Note 4 you can now prompt the app by saying “Ok Google” even with the screen off and your device unplugged, which is great for hands free use of your device for hands on activities.

Another new feature has been added that allows you to let Google find plans in your emails and recommender reminders based on time mentions. The reminders have also been improved to include trip reminders and to dos in your Now cards.

Added integrations with a variety of apps now enables you to use Google Now to search other apps. Just say “Search [the app you want to search] for [your search query]” and Google Now will send you to the results within that app for the search query.

While you’re checking out these new features, you should also take a look at a couple of new Easter eggs on Google search. On your phone or tablet with Google search installed try telling Google to flip a coin. Also, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones try searching for Hodor. While technically the “flip a coin” Easter egg was added as a new feature, the Hodor search serves no utility and is just for fun.