The Android smartphone is a dominant force in today’s market, strongly fueled by its innovative operating system. With recent updates to Google’s most popular services and apps, some of which were announced this spring, Android smartphone owners are enjoying an improved mobile experience.
For example, Google Now, an integrated app and virtual assistant, received several updates to better anticipate and respond to users’ needs. The company enhanced its voice-based search and bolstered its “cards” offering. Cards, which display short snippets of useful information based on a user’s location, recent searches and calendar entries, now have six new options: voice reminders, music albums, TV shows, public transit, books and video games. Integrated with Maps, which was revamped visually for both Web and Android, Google also added a new search bar for easier navigation that simplifies the user experience for travel around any city.
Even virtual face-to-face conversations have evolved with Google Hangouts. Now, those using hangouts can send and receive photos, even allowing conversations to take place across computer, smartphone or tablet.
Two recent revisions improve entertainment options: Google Play Music All Access and Google Play Games. Within Music, Google created a subscription-based service that combines a listener’s library with suggestions of what the listener might enjoy based on songs included in their library. And the addition of support for cloud-based games saves achievements and leaderboards, bridging the gap between traditional and mobile gaming.