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Google Now is Awesome.

Now that Jelly Bean has been announced and is in the wild on the Galaxy Nexus, we thought we should talk a bit more about Google Now and how amazing it is. For those not fully familiar, Google Now is a part of Voice Search, but it goes beyond just searching by trying to learn from you and automate your life. It displays information through beautiful cards that have been created after assisting you and your phone’s journey. Forget Siri and questions, Google Now does it before you have to ask. 

Here are a handful of things that Google Now can do:

  • Favorite sports teams:  Your favorite sports teams are tracked at all times. If they are playing, Now will have the game set up as a card for you to follow along with, live.
  • Weather:  No matter what your location is, Now knows the weather and displays it for you on a card.
  • Traffic:  When you wake up in the morning, Now will tell you how long your commute should take and if an alternate route is recommended. It will do the same when you come home too. It knows when you travel to and from places.
  • Reminders:  Now will remind you that you have a meeting along with directions on how to get there.
  • Transit:  If you are standing at a public transit station, Now will recognize this and tell you when the next bus or train will arrive.
  • Places:  While on the go, Now will recommend bars, restaurants and any other place that it feels you may enjoy.

When you first boot up Google Now, which is done by swiping up the home button on your Galaxy Nexus, you are asked to sign-up for the service. Once it has been activated, it should have already started learning from you based upon your previous Google searches. Doing more searches will then help get the party started as well.

If you have yet to flash any of the leaked Jelly Bean ROMs for the Galaxy Nexus, you may want to consider it. This Google Now stuff alone is reason enough to. For example, this morning, I woke up and it was telling me that it would take me 9 minutes to get to this Thai restaurant I had been a couple of nights before. It said that there would be a 3-minute delay in the trip which was normally 6 minutes long and that the weather was gorgeous. Now also had the Giants score up from last night’s game. It was pretty wild.

Go get some Google Now.

  • Business Research  

    “Rooty Toot Toot”, the name itself suggests that it must be fun to watch the animated story. educationmagazines.eu

  • Business Research  

    I read some thing comparable to this post via google news… I became interested and then started looking around, and landed at this site… in any case, I think that I mostly agree with what you discuss here. But I am going to go see what else I can lookup too. Business Research

  • Jesse Powers

    To get a sports card to show up, your web history must be enabled. Google.com/dashboard. Then just do a few searches! Also, for traffic updates put locations in your calendar and set up home and work in latitude

  • otter34

    howlong before it works? Ican’t edit my team and nothing has popped up, weather, places

  • Not sure if this is creepy or awesome but Google NOW just read a text between a friend and I that referenced a bar we’re going to later and it brought up a card with directions. I didn’t realize it was going to be reading through the Messages app.

    • r0lct

      I believe that’s actually a function of Search. If you go to search settings do you have text messages checked?

      • Ahhhh that makes sense I did change those settings last night. I don’t mind it just didn’t realize how it works. Thanks for the heads up.

  • The Dude

    How will this work on phones with a physical home buttons, like the Galaxy S3? No swipe up from home there.

  • The Dude

    My one and only issue is I wish they had used a dark theme for the cards, like the rest of ICS. Its too much white!

  • xxdesmus

    Can anyone get the sports card to work? It won’t let me pick teams — the edit teams option is grey’d out.

  • WCDave

    Try as I might, I can’t work out Google Now. I got it to pop up the weather where I was today, and that’s been about it. I’m going to hope that, as Google made it sound, if I just go about my daily life, all of a sudden it will know what I want, all of the time. Right now, I keep going back to it hoping to find a new card, but nothing.

  • JolleyMan

    Will Now learn when I poo and download Droid-Life articles beforehand?

  • ericl5112

    I feel like I’m one of the few people who isn’t that excited about Google Now. Granted, I’ve never played with it, but it seems like the utility of it would be a rare thing for most people. Hope I’m wrong.

  • Bionic

    This really does sound awesome. Too bad its only on 4.1 and Bionic wont ever see it.

  • nightscout13

    APK please

  • billy routh

    It doesn’t work to well for me. It rarely recognizs anything I say

    • Bionic

      give it time to work bugs out

  • Nptz

    My question is how will you access it if you don’t have onscreen buttons, like with the Galaxy S3

    • WCDave

      Hold down the home button – the Galaxy S III has that still. Probably hold it down just like you would on an iPhone.

      • Nptz

        Holding down the home button is how you get to your recent apps, and double tapping opens s-voice

  • Google Now is very well done. But of course Gizmodo (Fox News of the mobile world) portrayed it negatively even though there isn’t really anything wrong with it.

    • Troubled_Asian

      But really, does anyone really take Gizmodo or BGR seriously? The Verge and Droid-life and sometimes Engadget are the best tech sites for Android news.

      • Unfortunately most of the people in my dorm(graphic design dorm) use Gizmodo religiously and praise Apple, Android is the minority. I agree though, the sites we use are the better ones.

  • Interesting implications with the swipe up on the home button… That will require OEMs to either map it differently, or drop physical buttons. (There are probably other options but those are the obvious ones)

    (Fingers crossed for the second option!)

  • TheDrunkenClam

    Is there a way to designate favorite sports teams, or does it just base it off of recent and frequent searches? Sometimes I search teams that aren’t my favorites. Also, I’ve set different categories in Google’s news and weather widget. Will it do anything with that?
    Finally, if I watch a lot of porn are my Now cards gonna be inappropriate?
    Okay that last part was a joke

  • SD_Scott

    Will Google Now figure out my favorite teams? I can’t seem to input them in the settings…

    • Josh Flowers

      search for results of the teams matches–and it should add them

      • nhizzat

        sure as hell isn’t doing it for me…

  • Devator22

    A few weeks ago I had to make the choice between the RZR Maxx or the GNex…I chose the GNex, and this is why.

    • serrastone

      Good choice, the Razr is the biggest POS that I’ve ever seen. It’s way too sensitive.

      • balthuszar

        you’ve apparently never used the razr…if you want plastic hardware and shoddy software(regardless of updates from google) have fun with samsung

  • sahilm

    Wish it could create calendar events. That’s a serious oversight.

    • cns2007

      Give it time. I’m sure it’ll be there soon enough.

    • Devator22

      The service is capable of being updated, I’m sure Google is going to add more features. There is already the hint that it will eventually let you control system options via voice.

      • sahilm

        I sure hope so. I just installed a JB ROM and really love G Now, but it just needs a bit more work. It’s so close to perfect.

    • LionStone

      What!? It doesn’t? Hmm

      • sahilm

        I mean, I tried saying “Create an event” and things like that and it just searched the web

  • Knlegend1

    Google Now, where do I hide a dead Siri?

  • Champion1229

    And just think that my HTC Rezound will probably NEVER see this, or even Jellybean!!!

  • Tuna

    Kellex, which JB rom are you rockin?

  • Burke Foley

    “For example, this morning, I woke up and it was telling me that it would take me 9 minutes to get to this Thai restaurant I had been a couple of nights before. It said that there would be a 3-minute delay in the trip which was normally 6 minutes long and that the weather was gorgeous. ”

    I still don’t get why this is useful information. Do you work there? Were you going to eat breakfast at this particular Thai restaurant?

    • WCDave

      Pad Thai for breakfast? Nom nom nom.

  • Koneesha

    Is there any apk we could get to install this on non jelly bean phones? Pretty please???

    • michael arazan

      Has anyone read when the JB update will release?

  • Anyone notice the Sound Search widget native?

    • Burke Foley

      Good find! Seems to work really well too.

    • PC_Tool


      Just uninstalled soundhound.

  • rdrizzle

    Google Now is pretty cool. I was eating at my favorite hot dog joint on my lunch break. I was just pulling the cards because I just downloaded Jelly Bean so Im tinkering. It had Mike’s in a card and the transit time back to the job. It’s pretty crazy….scary a little.

  • Shawn

    the sports team tracking seem so cool to me. hopefully once i get my S3 this wont be too far behind

    • Knlegend1

      You’ll probably have to use Kies to get it on the S3. Why doesn’t Sammy do much OTA?

  • ehaus81

    Does anyone know why my sports teams aren’t showing up? And the edit function is grayed out.

  • Mark Bishop

    How long until it starts remembering searches like Sports teams, etc? I can’t edit sports manually. Any help would be greatful!

    • Mark Bishop

      bump 🙂

    • Burke Foley

      Can’t figure that out either. The edit sports selection is grayed out

    • Just ask it. I asked “Did the white sox win yesterday?” and it pulled up the card. Now it shows me that and the info for tonight’s game against the Yankees.

      • Mark Bishop

        I asked about the Braves schedule, if they play tonight, etc. Still not getting a card for them.

      • Koneesha

        Gave you a plus for the White Sox reference. 🙂

    • Joshua Koslakiewicz

      Been trying to figure it out myself since I read this article earlier 🙁

  • teng247

    patiently waiting for AOKP to update to 4.1…. dont wanna have to redo everything

    • Andrew

      They said today they are waiting on source to be released to start working on it. Said they are going for one more milestone release of 4.0.x first.

    • just make a backup of aokp thats what I did. test out JB to see how smooth it is and google now/voice

    • Devator22

      You will have to redo everything anyway…can’t dirty flash a new OS base…It would be like trying to dirty flash ICS over Froyo.

  • magic jamie

    “Once it has been activated, it should have already started learning from you based upon your previous Google searches.”

    Great. I hope my phone doesn’t judge me for asian a** porn

  • I still can’t tell if this is awesome or creepy…

    • PC_Tool

      Here, let me help:


  • feztheforeigner

    Can’t wait to try it out on my Galaxy nexus and XOOM!

  • eddieonofre

    kellex now trolling allowed, I just got ICS on my bionic after so much wait, and now you are making me droll for Jelly Bean

  • WilliamKu

    this is cool and all but my concern is: how will this affect battery life? seems like this stuff is always pulling updates, game scores, traffic, weather, not to mention gps being on a lot for determining location for the weather. transit times will also depend on gps locating you constantly i’m guessing. also how would the transit times work if you’re underground for the subway? i live in NYC and i’m underground like 95% of the time for subways.

    • Anthony Vella

      I will be honest with you, I have had all my cards running and I actually am getting BETTER battery life than I ever did with ICS!

      • nhizzat

        i can’t even get google now to add cards! i kept checking the nats/rockies score and nothing! nothing before, during, or after. i even turned off all the other cards…

      • thats weird, i had to turn off google now because of how bad it was destroying my battery, it kept trying to get a gps lock so it could get transit information for a stop that was not only across the river from where i was, but also about 3 to 5 miles away from where i was even though there was a bus stop right out side the building i was in

        it managed to take my battery from 95% to 50 in like 3 hours…google now is definitely broke

    • kaufkin

      Not to mention Data. Nice that all that traffic is coming just as Unlimited is being canned.

      • WilliamKu

        yes Data. i forgot about that. luckily i’m still locked in with unlimited until dec 2013. so i guess data isn’t an issue for now.

  • Agreed, loving it so far. The only thing I have been disappointed with is that the sports card didn’t pick up teams I follow in other countries like it did for US-based teams.

  • I just realized that if you have Google Now open, you can just say the word “Google” and it will begin listening. You don’t have to tap the mic icon.

  • Is this jelly bean only and is there a rom yet for the S3

  • DanWazz

    This is making me consider rooting. Damn life choices!!!!

    • Bionicman

      +1 trying to make the same decision! I love un-rooted stock but damn this is tempting.

    • dragonflyr

      i would highly suggest doing it for this. this build is very smooth!! there is/was a wifi strength issue, but that has been resolved with a flashable zip.

  • tarhelix

    The process is taking a little getting used to, but so far seems pretty legit. Looks like you’ve done it again google.

  • Blaudy Rodriguez

    I just flashed my G-nexus an hour ago… it’s snappy and smooth as butter… And Google Now is just learning from my searches. Siri got nothing on this. No talking to the phone and it already tells you things that are relevant to you. Freaking awesome !

  • elemeno

    Misread the title “Google is now awesome.”

    • Dane Carpenter

      Good. I wasn’t the only one

      • I did that too.

        • 3rd – I was like “Google was awesome before now – ….oh wait – oh.”

          • Sp4rxx

            Same! LOL

    • meijin3

      Haha, I keep doing that.


      Google has always been awesome!

    • serrastone

      Ha, same here!

  • Worm

    It is pure awesomeness, but I fear we are giving the machines too much power 😉

    • Aardvark99

      Come with me if you want to live.

    • John

      Probably but we’ve gone beyond that now. Accept it & move on.

    • eddieonofre

      too late to be concerned about that, the machine have already take over
      the watch us every move and censure any one trying to show the t…….. [this message has been truncated due to privacy issues]

      • David Cosme Jr.

        Ha! Classic!

      • Josh Flowers

        all your thoughts are belong to us

    • I never thought it would given so freely or that I’d enjoy it so thoroughly!

  • sirmeili

    Weather was showing up for me great, then I accidentally swiped it away and now I can’t get that card back 🙁 I think if you have a card set to “always show” you shouldn’t be able to swipe it away. Maybe swipe it lower in the list.

    • If you are talking about notifications I had the same happen to me, I want it back…
      If you are talking about the cards scroll all the way down and click show more.

      • sirmeili

        I’m not, i’m talking about the cards, though yes, the notification has disappeared as well.

        when I click “show more” it does NOT show the weather again and I have no clue how to get it back Gonna try restarting the phone.

      • sirmeili

        Ok, so according to the help, the card will come back as soon as a new notification is up. Doesn’t make sense since I have the card to always show, but oh well. restart didn’t work either. I will give it a few hours and see if it shows back up.

        • I think I still have a solution, hit the global settings button and check the locations for weather to show at .the amount of the time does not matter if you are not giving it an area to display

          • sirmeili

            I have it set to show “home”, “work” and “where you are”. I’ve tried unchecking them and rechecking them (going all the way out of the settings before rechecking them) and still no go. The temp hasn’t changed..it’s been 88 since I swiped it away, so i’m just waiting for it to change to see if it pops back.

    • tarhelix

      okay so I’m not the only one then. Anyone been able to find some sort of settings to dictate what does appear in the notification bar? seems kind of random

    • nhizzat

      anyone know a faster way to get cards to show up? i’ve searched for so much crap on my phone and nothing…mostly sports scores.

  • it does seem great, side question does google voice not allow opening of apps now. it worked in ICS didnt it?

    • It allows it you can also search apps from it in a round about sort of way.

      • sirmeili

        What do you have to say to get it to open an app then? I tried “Open hulu plus” and it just brings back search results.

        • Jake

          I don’t think ICS only allowed opening certain apps in a round-about way. For example if you said “Listen to (song title/artist/album)” it would open the Music app (or ask you which music app you’d like to use for this command if you have more than one and haven’t set one as the default). I don’t think it ever had the ability to open any app based on a “Open (app name)” command.

          • sirmeili

            Ahh..ok. I know some of the motorola droids do (I head so on a commercial). So thought maybe it was an ICS thing that they added. maybe it’s a Motorola thing then.

  • Chahk Noir

    I just accidentally long-pressed the Home button on my GNex running JB. Is that new?

    • Long pressing just reminds you of the swipe-up to get to Google-Now. I imagine custom roms will let you add other things to that swipe circle, just like they added them to the lock-screen circle.

  • dragonflyr

    awesome it is. just loaded up the rom posted earlier. smooooooth. and google now is, awesome.

    • Timothy McGovern

      Google has always been awesome.

  • SecurityNick

    Hopefully it will be able to do more than tell me things I can see by simply looking out a window. 🙂

    • John


    • Some people are this thing called blind.

      • SecurityNick

        OK, really, it was a joke about the siri commercial with an actress we all know isn’t blind.

    • Timothy McGovern

      Are the white sox playing outside your window?

      • Koneesha

        like this simply cause of the White sox reference 🙂

    • Josh Flowers


      best Conan O’Brian commercial parody…and deals exactly Siri telling Zoe to just look out the window.

      • SecurityNick

        Awesome! I hadn’t seen that

  • Once you go Jelly Bean, you won’t look back. Butter tastes so much better than Ice Cream.

    • Michael Forte

      Agreed. While I miss some of the customizations of ICS ROMs, Jelly Bean is just so buttery smooth that I don’t want to go back.

      • Things I miss
        1. 4G toggle in notifications

        Wow that was short, Go Jelly Bean.

      • 1bad69z28

        I’ve been saying this for sometime know. Can’t wait to see the next step of implementation of AI technology into phones and tablets

        Know that would be really cool 🙂

    • meijin3

      Why make me so jealous!?!?! I’ve got a DX and we’re still working on a bug-free ICS ROM!! I’m getting a new Nexus when they come out for sure 😛

    • serrastone

      Incorrect. With as lovely as it is, I went back to my Nandroid after a few minutes. I just can’t do without all of the special things in a custom rom. Namely, the custom app launchers in the navbar with Liquidsmooth! (or any AOKP based rom)

    • WCDave

      If I had to pick one thing to eat three times daily, I’d choose Ice Cream over Butter. Unless of course, the flavor was godawful.

  • Can someone crack please for my Razr!!!!

    • Travis Shepherd

      HAHAHA! No one will ever crack, silly MOTO!