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Official Google Search update brings 'Ok Google' voice search and GEL

Official Google Search update brings 'Ok Google' voice search and GEL

The moment we've all been waiting for, well, one of them at least, is here: the Google Search update – that brings KitKat functionality to anyone who cares to install the update – has been officially released and is rolling out as we speak. There's tons of exciting new features in the update, including voice search, the Google Experience Launcher we've seen on the Nexus 5, and a bunch of other cool goodies. If you can't wait for the update you can install the APK manually below and get it right now.

AndroidPIT Google Voice Search
The new Google Search will talk to you! / © AndroidPIT/Google

Thanks to Android Police, we already have a nice breakdown of what the new update brings with it. Here's the major points:

  • The Google Search version 3.1.8 works on all devices running Android 4.1 or higher. There's new refresh animation and UI.
  • Google Now can now talk back to you, as we reported recently, to clarify general voice commands like ''send a message'' or ''call Jennifer''.
  • The new Google Search supports the Google Experience Launcher, meaning everyone, not just those running KitKat, can enjoy the experience.
  • The Google Experience Launcher has been optimized for tablets.
  • There's new Google Now cards: website update, news topics, and What to Watch
  • Waze includes traffic incident updates
  • Recurring reminders
  • Real-time sports score updates
  • Package pickup notifications
  • Better navigation of Google Now cards, dismissed cards can be brought back with Undo button
AndroidPIT Google Search
Combined with GEL, Google Seacrh gets you a lot closer to the KitKat feel. / © AndroidPIT/Google

If you can't wait for the updated Google Search to appear in the Play Store, you can download the APK and if you want to add the Google Experience Launcher to your device, simply install the Google Search APK, then download and install the GEL APK and you should be sorted.

Download Google Search 3.1.8 APK

Download Google Experience Launcher APK

Have you got the new Google Search with GEL running on your non-KitKat Android? What are your thoughts?

Source: Android Police

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  • I keep trying to join on my Iphone but it keeps getting stuck in terms and conditions

  • Hey@Stanley, @Seij is right, there's nothing to it. The APK is just the app file, so you do the same thing as you'd do with a program on your computer, just download and run it on your smartphone/tablet. You can always do virus scans and all that too if you're dubious about the source, but when Google (or anyone else) releases an update in a staged rollout, people like us simply can't wait for the rollout to reach us so we install the APK directly. It's still official, you just don't have to wait for it to appear in the Play Store.

  • just download and open the apk file. like installing dmg or exe files

  • Can someone tell me how to installAPK files? I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

  • yeah I've tried using the nexus ripped google search and the GEL a week ago. It was also good but this update was better. I hope google would release an official GEL through the playstore :) btw I'm using GS4. Thanks!

  • @kris thanks for the explanation.i will try this apk later.i hope this will fix the force close.thanks again :)

  • So the GEL is not packaged with the Google Search update? Meaning, we still need to manually install the .apk that you provided? It is not available in the Playstore am I right?

    • Hi @Seji, that is correct, the new Google Search supports the GEL but doesn't include it, so you just need to install both. I can confirm the GEL works great with the new Google Search (at least on my Nexus 4). All the minor bugs from the Nexus 5 GEL APKs are gone now.

  • Yuri M Nov 14, 2013 Link to comment


  • thanks @kris.the GEL always force close even im already update to latest version using apk.stick with nova launcher because its more smoothly and lots of customization.

    • Hey @Amat, the new GEL APK in the article is the official one, not one scraped from the Nexus 5. It hasn't had any problems since I installed it this morning. Except that voice search doesn't seem to understand my accent very well! So I wouldn't give up on it yet, although if you prefer Nova anyway it doesn't really matter!

  • Hi @Amat, the transparent system bars are a KitKat-only feature, so until you get Android 4.4 you can only get the transparent bars either with a custom ROM (but not CM) or with a launcher like Nova. I'm not the hugest fan of GEL either, but I do like Ok Google and Google Now, so I'm giving it a chance for now. I'm normally using Solo launcher though.

  • how about the transparent bar??im using nova launcher right now and i think nova launcher more better than the GEL.its my opinion.can i change the notification bar to the transparent if using the GEL?I read at andorid authority,the transparent bar only work for offical kit kat only

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