Handful of core Google apps get important updates

google-logo

A handful of core Google apps just received some bug-fixing updates that also brought with them a few nifty features. Here’s what you need to know as you make sure all your apps stay up to date.

Google Hangouts

A small update for Hangouts was pushed out February 5 that, unfortunately, didn’t really bring any significant new features. It does, however, fix  a bug that prevented some users from sending SMS messages longer than 160 characters, and it fixed a few MMS bugs, too.

Additionally, some users discovered that Google added the ability to opt in or out of reporting usage data to improve Hangouts.

hangouts-qrc
Download: Google Play

Google Search

Google Search also received an update on February 5, without any specific changelog. Users have discovered some interesting changes though: perhaps most significant is that the exclusive Nexus 5 launcher is now referred to as the “Google Now Launcher,” which could signal that Google is planning a wider release to other Nexus devices, or even other OEM devices. Additionally, if you sideload the Google Now Launcher on your device, you now get the option to import your app icons and folders over.

Additionally, this update brings new animations to bundled cards in Travel, Research, Interests, and Things To Watch.

And finally, this update has fixed the “OK Google” hotword that Chrome Beta had broken.

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Download: Google Play

Google Drive

The latest update to Google Drive should make document scanning junkies very happy: there’s a new 1×1 widget for faster and more convenient document scanning. There’s also support for animated GIFs, along with a few miscellaneous bug fixes.

Android Central also spotted a nifty new training video that appears the first time you launch the app; if you’re a regular Drive user, simply wipe your data and cache and launch it again to view it.

qrc-google-drive
Download: Google Play

Google Newsstand

In the first update since Google combined Currents and Play Magazines, Google Newsstand is getting the ability to translate content into 47 new languages, along with a new widget. From what I can tell, not a lot of people have received this one yet, but it should be on the way soon.

qrc-google-newsstand
Download: Google Play

 

[AndroidSPIN | Android Central: 12 | Android Police: 1, 2 | Android Community]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.