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Google Now receives major upgrade

Posted: , by Scott H.

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Google Now receives major upgrade
Though it will appear in the Play Store as an update to “Google Search”, don’t be fooled, this is a massive upgrade to the Google Now, Google’s “intelligent push” service that is a response (and something of a leapfrog) of Apple’s Siri voice search. Google Now will get several more types of cards it can present, including some that can pull in information from your Gmail account (if you opt in). While big fans of anonymity may choose not to use the new features (or simply avoid Google Now altogether) the ability to search your emails for specific types of information allows for arguably the most useful Google Now cards yet.

Specifically, Google Now is smart enough to recognize hotel and airline confirmations, so it can pull that information and be ready to remind you on the day of your flight, how to get to your hotel from the airport, etc. Using the same data also helps homebodies, as it can also recognize shipping confirmations, so it can provide a status update to where your packages are, and a link to the latest tracking information. For anyone who’s ever wondered whether or not the flowers they ordered will arrive in time for an anniversary, or just waited impatiently for their next mobile device to arrive at their doorstep, this sort of information will be highly prized.

As Hugo Barra, Android’s director of product management, indicated to The Verge, there are hundreds of different types of cards in the Google Now pipeline; the main challenge is to find ways to show users just the cards they'll want when they want them, rather than overwhelming people with endless snippets of information. What is perhaps most impressive about the new set of cards is it finishes the process of integrating all of Google’s back end services to provide information to end users – what started out two years ago as a humble 20% project has become the one product that has successfully integrated the entirety of Google’s massive data services.

As a result, no single Google Now update is likely to result in users seeing dozens of cards in their feed; rather the result should be a greater variety of cards that can show up when appropriate, and greater usefulness when they do. Of course learning how and when to do that is a thorny problem - a problem that would be easier if millions of consumers were using Google Now on a regular basis. Unfortunately for Google that isn’t happening as quickly as possible since the service is restricted to devices running Android 4.1 and higher. Perhaps the trio of new Nexus devices introduced today will help bring Google Now to the wider audience that Google intends?

source: The Verge

20 Comments
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posted on 29 Oct 2012, 15:37 6

1. fanboy (Posts: 38; Member since: 07 Mar 2011)


Siri Google now

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 15:52 3

2. abdane (Posts: 476; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Google Now only misses chatting with it to defeat Siri fun-wise...

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 21:03 1

11. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


true. thats the only thing i liked about siri...

but that feature might be good for the first week, but it gets boring once you know everything siri has to say.

it also is in reality, useless.
its like the 3d effects in sense 3.0, they are cool at first, then they get boring

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 17:06 1

3. DigitalMD (Posts: 226; Member since: 17 Feb 2010)


Nice stuff, but Google's problem is that nothing new can grow fast since it takes roughly 24 months (time to be eligible for an new phone) to get people on the latest OS version. UNless Goggle can wrestle vendors like Verizon to the ground on getting updates out quicker, its going to continue to be a big issue

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 17:12 4

5. therealestmc (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


Or the users can just not use Verizon as their providers. Google is clearly not at fault in this situation.

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 18:26 3

7. squeeb (Posts: 99; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Yep. I left big red, and I will never go back.

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 20:33

10. someones4 (Posts: 619; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)


At least your carriers provide updates. In my country, you have to download the update manually or go to the manufacturers service centres.

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 21:04 1

12. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


thats what I prefer to do because my carrier doesn't provide updates for my device...

i go to xda and download 4.2

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 01:53

16. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4023; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


That would probably be a welcomed change to most. Seems like you would get the updates much faster. Bad thing about carrier distributed updates is that they can sit on them for months without giving them to you. I would rather download my update manually straight from the manufacturer rather than get them from a carrier.

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 17:11

4. therealestmc (Posts: 129; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


That was a great update. I specially like the ability to create a calendar event, which was not possible with the previous version of Google now. I also like the ability to open apps with google. Now the only things left is better integration with social networks. Google is definitely going in the right direction with this app.

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 17:27

6. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I'm not seeing that happening I can post in Facebook 2 times faster than telling the app to post something on Facebook, I have the new Google now and I launch apps faster by hand anyways, could be good if you can't find an app but time will decide how likely I am to use it

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 18:49

8. ddxmms1 (Posts: 13; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


hi everybody, i just updated my samsung galaxy s3 to android jelly bean today and google now didn't show but just showed the search app but when i open the search app i launch google now but without so many features like card and stuff, does anyone knows what the problem ?

and sorry for my bad english.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 02:15 1

17. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Same here. GNow is only available in select countries.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:44

18. ddxmms1 (Posts: 13; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


dammit, why can it be for all countries.

thats a bummer, iam from Libya by the way.

posted on 31 Oct 2012, 07:41

19. ddxmms1 (Posts: 13; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


this is important.. if you changed the language to english then open the search app then go to the sitting then you can enable google now.

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 18:54

9. speckledapple (Posts: 879; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Its getting better. :)

posted on 29 Oct 2012, 22:09

13. tyson3 (Posts: 14; Member since: 15 May 2012)


I like the fact this new nexus is eliminating carriers from doing its updates according to what I just read. We pay too much money for these phones and don't get the best software like we are promised until months later. I bought the gs3 and was told jellybean would be out in a few weeks after I purchased it. Now finding out it may be 2013 for at&t users. I will get this phone if I don't have to deal with all these delayed updates. It sucks for us to by phones and not get the most out of them bc of carriers delaying updates and some phone not even getting the best software!

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 01:06

14. Brewski (Posts: 119; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)


Is Google Now only available for v4.1 and higher? I'm on my first ICS device (RAZR Maxx HD)

What about Google Wallet? When I go to the Play store It says my device is not compatible even though I know it has NFC...

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 01:44

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8316; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Blame Verizon for Google Wallet not bring supported.

And yes, Google Now is only for Jellybean (4.1-4.2) only. Your phone should get updated in a few months knowing Verizon.

posted on 26 Mar 2013, 20:26

20. cosmith2626 (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)


I have a Droid Razr by Motorola, and just got a 'forced' Jellybean upgrade ... since the upgrade my MOTOSPEAK isn't working correctly with my earpiece ... I have to initiate the call from tapping the screen - before I just tapped my earpiece and MOTOSPEAK kicked in .... now it doesn't unless I tap. Does anyone know how to fix this bug ? I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling to override the new default voice and it still doesn't kick in on the earpiece.

Anyone else experiencing this ? The upgrade has caused havoc with many users !!

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