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Google Search app updated with Google Now and Voice action improvements

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Google Search app updated with Google Now and Voice action improvements
Google Now has been one of the best new features this year, and it's not done getting better. A new update for Google Now adds a slew of new features including various new notifications when traveling, and a couple nice new voice commands. The latter aren't exactly features of Google Now, but part of the Voice Actions side of the Google Search app for Android. 

On the Google Now side of things, there are nice new options for travelers including a card for the weather in at your destination. And, in a nice move to take on options like Apple's Passbook and Microsoft's Wallet Hub, there is also a new card which will pull up a QR code for your boarding pass when flying. Right now, it is limited to United Airlines, but Google has promised to add other airlines in the future.

Google Now has also been updated to offer cards on events nearby, your monthly walking/biking activity, and the option to search from your camera when at a museum or shop. There is also a feature which promises to offer "suggestions to help with your research", but it's unclear exactly what that means. 

On the Voice Actions side of the app, there is now Google+ integration, so you can post to your G+ stream by voice. There is also an option to ask "What's this song?" to identify a song that's playing (assuming you don't want to use the Google Play widget or something like Shazam). And, last is an option to say "Scan a barcode" to do just that. 

If you've got an Android device running 4.1 or higher, you can get the update for free in the Google Play Store.

19 Comments
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posted on 05 Dec 2012, 16:22 14

1. Carlitos (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


I f***king love Google!

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 16:56 9

5. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8843; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Who doesn't?

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 17:05 9

6. natesvlogs (Posts: 40; Member since: 15 May 2012)


Microsoft

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:10 1

11. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


They should, seeing all the money they make on Android devices. MS should really just give up the mobile phone race and make money off Android like they already are.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:05 7

10. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5638; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Apple

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 16:42 3

2. bojan (Posts: 188; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)


google in few years will be the only company on earth

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:19 2

13. lyndon420 (Posts: 1783; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


That would be so awesome due to the nature of some of these cut-throat companies today. But...competition is important to keep the innovative bloods flowing. Also helps to keep some pricing down.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 16:55 4

3. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


this just keeps getting better and better... google, never stop innovating so that the bitten one and the 4 paned ones can try and catch up leading to a better experience for all :D

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 16:55 5

4. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8843; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Ok. So I tried the "What's this song?" command and Google perfectly answered all 10 songs I threw at it. Thanks for the update Google! :)

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 18:11

7. JGuinan007 (Posts: 638; Member since: 19 May 2011)


That is great too bad only 58 devices run android 4.1. Google should have made Google now avalible to 4.0 at the very least. Most ICS devices can run it if they side load the APK. So why won't the play store alow it to be downloaded to versions below 4.1?

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:56 1

14. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


The more older versions Google ports this stuff to, the less incentive manufacturers have to update phones.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 10:19

18. JGuinan007 (Posts: 638; Member since: 19 May 2011)


Manufacturers have little incentive to update phones anyway they drag their feet then carriers drag even more they always want people to but the newest device. The reason Google should update is more ad data and personal ads wich in turns makes Google more $, having Gnow on 397 devices is alot better than 58 devices. Not to mention keeping android cust happier.

posted on 07 Dec 2012, 10:30

19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2686; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Google is getting the ad data anyway, Google Now is just putting that data to use for users.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 21:10

17. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Google now was released on 4.1 I don't think 4.0 will ever have it.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 18:19

8. JGuinan007 (Posts: 638; Member since: 19 May 2011)


Why Google? Why!? - 339 ICS devices

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 18:37 1

9. lzsbleach (Posts: 155; Member since: 20 May 2012)


Whats this song feature is nice, it got every song I played.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 19:13 2

12. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Like I said before...Google Now is my new favorite toy...lol.

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 20:26

15. ama3654 (Posts: 249; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


awesome, how do you use the whats this song feature?, cant seem to get it right

posted on 05 Dec 2012, 20:53 2

16. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


Google now is the thing I love most about my gnex use it for everything.and its quit impressive how accurate it is. Been using nothing but voice for texting the last few days and haven't had one slip up.

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