Google just updated its native Google Search app for Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). You can download the latest version now from the official Google Play Store .
The timing of the update is hardly a coincidence: Android 4.2 was just announced a couple of hours ago . While the latest version of Android has the same codename as its predecessor (don’t worry; Key Lime Pie is still on its way), today’s update shows that Google is still eager to push its latest features to the first Jelly Bean devices.
Most notably, Google is experimenting with linking Google Now and Gmail, although it only works for the English language for now. This integration makes sense given that exactly two weeks ago, the search giant expanded its trial for including Gmail results in the search box on the Web. Google never seems to be done when it comes to expanding its core product, search, to the rest of its offerings.
Furthermore, Jelly Bean users can now use Google to more quickly search for flights, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations, events, packages, and Now cards (useful for checking what’s happening in the area). Last but not least, Google has added new voice actions for launching apps, scheduling meetings, and checking up on your next appointment. Why search for it when you can just ask for it?
Here’s the official Google Search for Android changelog:
We’ll keep you posted as Google rolls out some of these features to previous Android versions as well.
Image credit: Marija Jure
The BookBook case for iPad is as close to perfect as we’ve ever seen
In the world of iPad cases, price and quality run the gamut. When you’re looking for high-end cases, however, there really aren’t many choices. One of the standouts for Mac and iOS device accessories is a company called Twelve South and its BookBook case for the iPad is certainly no exception to its rule of quality craftsmanship.
The first thing that you’ll notice about the BookBook when you take it out of the case is the aroma of well-preserved leather. The entire outside of the case is made from the stuff. The next thing that you’ll notice is that the case doesn’t flop about. Just like a hardcover book, the front and back are stiff and the spine is too.
Inside of the case you’ll find a velvet-soft material that does a great job of keeping scratches off of your device. There’s a sleeve on the inside that your iPad slides into, and snaps on the back of that sleeve keep your iPad in place when you’re using the Book Book as a folio.
Like most leather products, the more that you use it the better it is going to look. I’ve gotten a couple of notable scratches on my BookBook in the past month of use, and it just adds to the character. Though it’s notable that never once have I felt that something scratching the outside was going to affect the device inside. The protection offered by the Book Book case is second to none.
The case is a discussion piece, for sure. Almost every time that I’ve had it out in public, it has gathered attention as I’ve unzipped it and started using my iPad. Flipping the back cover around gives you a nice hand hold for your device whether in portrait or landscape mode, and that grip helps to take away from what would otherwise be a detracting amount of bulk added to your svelte device.
My only minor gripes about the case all come from that internal sleeve. There’s a bit of a gap around the edge, where the sleeve stands up from the screen. The home button doesn’t line up exactly right with the detent at the bottom and there’s a pretty large gap around the volume rocker which takes away from the high quality standards that the rest of the case has. My final niggle comes from the cutout for the 30-pin cable, which requires that I pull the case out of the way slightly in order to plug in my device.
Otherwise there’s simply no topping the Book Book when you’re talking about a classy, quality-made protective cover for your treasured device. Nothing else on the market looks this good while protecting this well. Twelve South has set the bar by which all other “high end” accessories will be judged.
At $80 it’s no bargain case, but chances are you’re not looking for bargains if you’re in the market for a full leather folio case for your $500 iPad.
Oh, and if you want a Book Book for your iPhone , Twelve South has that too.
➤ The BookBook Case by Twelve South
Skype launches on the PlayStation Vita, brings video calls to your gaming handheld
Owners of the popular PlayStation Vita handheld console will today be able to take advantage of a new Skype application , which will allow them to make and receive calls from the dashboard but also answer requests whilst they are gaming.
The Skype Video and Voice app for will hit the PlayStation Store later today in the US, working on both 3G+Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only models. However, Vita owners in Europe and Asia will have to wait until tomorrow until they download the VOIP application.
The app itself takes full advantage of Skype’s voice and video technology, utilising the Vita’s front and rear cameras to cater for face-to-face chats. It will run in the background, immediately pausing a game when a call comes through and in some cases may operate during gameplay (if the title is not compatible with in-game pausing).
Add some credit to the Skype application and it becomes a cheap and easy way to call landlines and mobile phones directly from the gaming handheld.