Over the course of the past two weeks, there have been a significant number of updates to a wide range of Google apps in the Google Play Store. These update primarily have been laying the foundation for Android Marshmallow which is expected to be released next week. While those on Android KitKat or Android Lollipop will not see the full benefits of many of these update until Marshmallow, there are a few apps that have hints as to what is coming. One of these is the Google Search app.
The Google Search app has been updated to build 18.104.22.168 for those keeping score at home and one of the big changes that comes with the update is an all new App Drawer and the ability to quickly and easily search for apps that you have installed on your Android phone or tablet. The update has been published to the Play Store but it is slowly trickling out so you may not see the update for a few days via OTA updates.
The new App Drawer in this update to Google Search changes several different things on how this looked and functioned compared to the old version. First, you now slide up and down to navigate the apps you have installed on your device instead of doing side swipes of pages of apps. It’s faster and just feels more natural once you start using it. Second, you will notice that you have a row of
icons at the top that are your last four accessed apps. These quick shortcuts prevent you from having to go down through the App Drawer to find an app that you just accessed but need to get into once again.
Finally there is the new search function for your apps. Just above the recently used apps there is now a search windows that looks and acts just like a Google Search but it is only looking at the apps you have installed on your phone or tablet. This is a potential big time saver for finding those apps that you access semi-regularly but not enough to warrant pinning it to your Home screen.
I’m personally a big fan of these changes in the Google Search app for Android and the changes to the App Drawer. Yes it is different than how it was before but as I said, it just seems more natural to navigate your apps this way and the new search function is a huge help.