Google has a mixed history with Windows Phone. After dropping a Gmail-shaped bomb on the platform, a row over a YouTube app, and a temporary block of its Google Maps web interface for Windows Phone users, it’s surprising to see the search giant put any time and effort into apps for Microsoft’s rival platform. However, Google is updating its search app for Windows Phone today to improve voice commands, Google image viewing, and provide sign-in support for Google accounts.
The changes aren’t significantly different from what was available before, but the voice search updates include the familiar UI found on iOS and Android where commands are displayed on screen before the full search results. Google originally said it had "no plans to build out Windows apps” because of the lack of users. While Microsoft and Google have sparred over YouTube for Windows Phone, Google insists Windows Phone doesn’t have the reach for the company to build its own app. With the exception of search, Google encourages Windows Phone users to make use of its browser-based versions of YouTube, Google Maps, and Google Voice on Windows Phone, instead of native apps.