Google Search update enables Ok Google in UK and Canada, enhanced time-to-leave options

An update to the Google Search app brings wider support for the "Ok Google" hotword on Android, meaning it will now work with the UK and Canada English language options. Previously the app worked only with US English.

When the Ok Google hotword first made its appearance on Android, many outside the US claimed it didn't work, however all you needed to do was switch the voice language in the settings menu to English (US) to get it going. In our experience, it made practically no difference, as we had it working without a hitch.

However, those who never got as far as changing language will now find their device responds, and the words "Say 'Ok Google'" appear in the search bar. You'll now be able to speak commands to your phone, such as "Where is the closest Nando's?", or "How much is 40km in miles?". It works really well in the Google Now Launcher we recently wrote about.

READ: What is the Google Now Launcher?

The update, which is available on Google Play now for devices on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and above, also brings with it a more refined and customisable "time to leave" system.

This useful system will remind you that it's time to depart for an appointment in your calendar, with the updated version giving you a more detailed and customisable card in Google Now.

Not only will it tell you what time you need to leave for your preferred transport method, but you can also change (driving, public transport, cycling, walking) transport and it will adjust the times for you. You can also elect to arrive on time, or move the slider if you want to arrive early. You can also elect to change your departure point, so you can see quickly whether it's faster to leave from home or work, for example.

It's a useful little update, so go and check Google Play now.