The Google Search app has been updated on Android, and that means even more Google Now functionality. Google Now is Mountain View’s answer to Siri, but it comes at the problem of delivering information in a different, possibly more interesting way. This one app bundles in voice search and data-driven “cards” overflowing with information.
Google Now plugs into all the data Google has about you, and that includes your geographical location and recent emails on Android. The initial release included directions, flight information, calendar reminders, and proactive recommendations of local restaurants. Over time Now expanded to include data on music you might like, package shipping information, and severe weather warnings among many other things.
When Google Now feels it’s important, it can produce notification bar items to alert you. For example, if you have an appointment at 3PM, but it’s 2:30 and traffic is a nightmare, it will tell you it’s time to get moving. Apple’s Siri started as an “assistant” that added search features later. Google Now was all proactive search at first, but it’s getting more digital assistant features as time goes on.
This new Google Now update adds several eagerly anticipated features. At the top of the list is music playback voice control. With the recent launch of Google Play Music All Access, this is a great time for it too. Now the voice command “Play [blank]” will allow you to get the artist or song you want immediately. It even includes options to change the application handler. So if you want YouTube to fulfill your request like it used to, that’s doable.
Google Now can also tell you about the TV programs you’re watching, provided you have a smart TV on the same network as the Android device. Google Now will pull up a card when it thinks you’re watching TV. Simply tap the “Listen for a TV show” button on the card, and Google will identify it. Once that’s done, you can see contextual information about the show while you watch…
Read More: pcmag.com