Whether you’re getting the latest news about the World Cup or trying to find showtimes for 22 Jump Street, many of you kick off your search with a simple “Ok Google” from the Google Search app or the Google home screen widget. Now voice search is going to be even easier to get to.

Starting today, you can say “Ok Google” on your Android device whenever the screen is on or your device is charging. If you’re reading your email, browsing the web or using any app that doesn’t actively use the microphone, saying “Ok Google” will get you the answers you need and let you take actions like set an alarm or call a friend.

So the next time you’re in the Google Maps app looking at places to visit for your upcoming trip, just say “Ok Google, what is the weather in Dallas?” and Google will display the weather forecast right on your screen. Once you’ve decided to pack shorts this time around, you can tap the back button to finish what you were doing in the Maps app. So feel free to say “Ok Google” anytime and anywhere—and Google is there to help.

Give it a try on your Android device running KitKat -- make sure you have the updated Google Search app (version 3.5). Then find the “Google Settings” icon and go to:

Google Settings -> Search & Now -> Voice -> “Ok Google” Detection and check “From any screen”.

To respond to your voice better, you’ll be prompted to turn on Audio History and then say “Ok Google” 3 times. This way, Google will do a better job recognizing your voice and helping out when you ask.

Finally, if you’d like to be able to search even when your device is locked, just enable the “From lock screen” option.

“Ok Google” from any screen will be rolling out on most Android devices running KitKat over the next week, and will initially be available in the US for English speakers.

Check out this page to learn more about what you can do with voice search.

Sometimes the best answer is on a website, and sometimes it's in an app. That’s why since last December, when you search with Google on your Android device, you may see results from your apps that let you jump right to relevant content in those apps.

We added more apps with this capability in April and May, and this week we’ve just enabled our biggest batch yet, including apps like ABC News, Airbnb, AutoTrader, BuzzFeed, CBS, Cookpad, Crackle, Daily Mail Online, Dailymotion, The Economic Times, Fox News, francetv info, Hot Pepper Gourmet, Houzz, KASKUS,, musiXmatch, NDTV, Orbitz, RetailMeNot Coupons, Shazam, Strava,, The Guardian, The Washington Post, ViewRanger GPS, Viki, and many more. We’re also announcing today that any Android developer can now participate in app indexing, which means that even more of your favorite apps will soon become search-friendly and can organically appear in search results—just like websites.

In addition to seeing more app content in Google search results, you may also notice that the apps now appear differently: app result title links take you directly to the content inside the app. This makes it even easier to access apps from Google. You can tell if a result will take you to an app by looking at the green text just below it. If the green text is the name of an app you've installed and has an app icon next to it, then you’ll know the result will link to an app. If the green text is a website URL, then you know the result will link to a webpage. (Remember that you have to sign in to Search in order to see these app results.)

Sometimes you may prefer to go to a website instead of an app, even though you have the app installed. To do this, just tap on the link to the website below the result snippet.

Finally, if you’re looking for new apps to install, you’ll now be able to find more apps through Google. We started clustering app results together in the U.S. last December, and now we’ve rolled this feature out globally. For example, if you’re searching for photo editors in Japanese [写真編集], you’ll see results for apps like the following:

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When you look up musicians and bands on Google, you often want to play their songs right away. Say you’re curious about your favorite pop artist’s latest hits, or you’re with friends chatting about the newest indie rock group and want to play some of their music. Starting today, when you ask Google about a musician, you can simply tap a link to play their music right in one of your installed apps.

This feature is available for Android devices in the U.S. and will work with the following:

We’re working to expand this feature to users worldwide, with their local services like Deezer. We hope all this makes finding and exploring artists and music on Google more fun now that you can listen to the music right away.

Celebrate the biggest event in sports with a little help from Google Search. For the first time, you'll find up-to-the minute live scores, team stats, and highlights. You can also explore what's trending with a new World Cup experience powered by Google Trends.

Every match, every highlight
With your phone, tablet or desktop, real-time updates in Google can help you stay on top of the tournament. Simply search for [world cup] or [world cup usa] to get the team lineup, live scores, and even up to the minute information about attempted goals and player stats. Click or tap or switch between standings, schedules, specific teams, players and more. During live matches, you'll also find a timeline with all major moments so you can follow along with the action.

Also new for this year’s tournament, you don't even have to search to get updates on your favorite teams—just open Google Now. You'll be given an option to start seeing cards with stats about each match that you can tap for more detail.

What’s trending?
For the first time, you'll find a Google Trends experience designed specifically to help you explore the players, teams and moments that are capturing the world's attention. Check out and explore trends from all 32 competing countries.

On the site, we’ll explore the areas below, and also look at surprising highlights leading up to and after each match.

  • Sentiment: Explore how an entire country is feeling—whether optimistic or anxious—as reflected through search trends and public Google+ conversations.
  • World Focus: For every match, discover which team is capturing the world's attention in Search.
  • Top Questions: Want to know more about a penalty kick? Likely you’re not alone. Check out trending questions from every competing country before and after kickoff.
  • Rising Players: Find out who are the players to watch and how they rank in search compared with their teammates.

As you gear up to cheer on your favorite team, we’re excited to help you discover, share and connect with the moments that matter most. For more on the World Cup, visit our Official Google Blog.

Posted by Lea Stolowicz, Product Manager