Over the last few weeks, Google has been adding Lollipop's Material Design flourishes to all of its big-name apps and services, and now the standard Google browser app is finally getting the same treatment. But in addition to its new look, Google is pushing its Google Now voice assistant even harder by opening up "OK Google" search to app developers.
Voice search has yet to be adopted as our primary means of navigating devices, but Google is making a strong case for it. Now you can open and search in many third-party apps straight from Google. For example, just say "OK Google, search Tumblr for [whatever]" and it will search directly within the app.
Google released this new ability to third-party app developers in late October, saying it required "hardly any" code at all, and developers from TripAdvisor, TuneIn, Trulia, and YouTube – to name a few – have already implemented the change (and you don't even need Lollipop to start using them).
Of course, one of Google Now's most popular functions is serving up important info mined from Gmail. Now, a new Google Now card will ask if you want to set reminders based on the context of emails in your inbox, hopefully making those "sorry I missed your email" mea culpas a thing of the past. Also, Google continues its quest to organise your life by just making decisions. Once you say, "OK Google, flip a coin," you leave your fate in the hands of Google Now.
Of course, all these functions are reserved only for the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and, most recently, the 2nd generation Moto G, with more Android phones expecting the update very soon. Older Nexus devices were meant to receive the update last week but a battery-draining bug derailed the OTA release. Hopefully, the wait will be over soon.