Despite all of the Android L craziness we’ve seen today (from its unveiling to the permissions changes and UI improvements) it’s still Wednesday, and you know what that means. It’s time for another Google Update Wednesday, folks. This time, we’ve got major updates to Google Drive and Google Search, a more modest update to Maps. In addition, we also have two new apps in the Play Store: Slides and Android TV Remote Control.
First up, we have a significant update to Google Drive, which brings us to version 188.8.131.52 (up from last week’s 184.108.40.206). There aren’t too many new features in this new version, but it packs a massively updated, and more modern UI that is visible when viewing file details. This refreshed screen now allows you to perform actions more easily, and with fewer clicks. The screen now allows you to share, download, move, and rename a file–and if you hit the overflow button, you can print and delete as well. In addition, a new activity tracking section at the bottom of the details page shows the last modifications made to a file, by date.
Next, we have an update to Search. This update takes us to version 220.127.116.114234 (up from April’s 18.104.22.1683430). Upon updating, most users won’t immediately notice anything different. However, with Search 3.5 installed, certain Google accounts are now able to use “OK Google” Hotword detection in any screen, including the lock screen and third-party apps. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on a few accounts at the moment, but hopefully the rollout continues quickly.
Last in terms of app updates, we have a more modest update to Maps, which brings us to 8.1.1 (up from last month’s 8.1.0). This update is a bit less significant than the Drive and Search updates, but according to the Google Play Store listing, this update improves terrain view and transit directions. And for those lucky enough to already own Wear, it adds support for that as well!
Finally, we have two new applications, which have just made their Play Store debut: Slides and Android TV Remote Control. We’ve been looking forward to the release of Slides ever since Docs and Sheets were introduced several months back. Now, it’s finally here–and with it, Google now has a fully functional office suite. Most impressively with Slides is that as announced at the I/O keynote, you are even able to natively edit Microsoft Office files. In addition to Slides, we also have Android TV Remote Control. Even though none of us actually has Android TV yet, this application will be quite useful once Android TV-enabled TVs and set-top boxes start popping up later this year and early next year.
All of these app updates will make their way out to consumer devices through the Play Store via a staged rollout. Naturally, not every device will be in initial wave. However, we’ve gone ahead and mirrored the APKs over on our DevHost account for your sideloading pleasure:
- Google Slides 1.0.783.9
- Google Drive 22.214.171.124
- Google Maps 8.1.1
- Google Search 126.96.36.1994234.arm
- Android TV Remote Control 188.8.131.527351
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