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Google Search Receives Update: New Google Now Cards and Voice Actions Included

A major Google Search update just hit the Google Play store for devices running Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean). The update introduces a handful of new cards for Google Now along with some new voice actions. You will now see Now cards for events happening nearby, suggestions to help with research, boarding passes (United only for now), weather for upcoming travel destinations, and more. On the voice actions side of things, you can tell your phone to post to Google+, ask what song is playing, and have your phone to scan a barcode.

Go grab it! 

New cards:

  • Events nearby
  • Suggestions to help with your research
  • Boarding passes from Gmail (United only, more to come)
  • Search by camera when at museums or shops
  • Weather at upcoming travel destinations
  • Approximate monthly summary of walking and biking activity

New voice actions:

  • Post to Google+
  • Say “What’s this song?” to find the song you hear
  • Say “Scan a barcode” to find product info

Play Link

Cheers Grady!

  • zurginator

    Is it just me, or did the latest update remove the “Google” wake command?

  • JLouisY

    Just got an audible alert that traffic to home was heavy (7 minute delay). Never had an beep before the update.

  • TheFirstUniverseKing

    It seems like they’ve got rid of that sky banner which sometimes appears at the top. 🙁
    EDIT: Nevermind, it’s still there.

  • Geo

    wow the nearby events card is pretty neat, TDCC is playing nearby haha

  • Jared Fulgham

    The Killers… Nice! I just saw them at the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah. They put on a great show… Anyway, good updates all around.

  • prestone1

    my sports cards now show up without location services enabled, whereas before it would tell me to turn on location services to see cards.

  • NexusPhan69

    Just noticed that Google Now has the real time voice recognition like iOS has. Awesome.

  • gpzbc

    I have NEVER seen the pedometer card that shows me how much I walk or drive. What am I doing wrong?

    • Last time I saw it, it *only* showed up on the first day of the month. After that it automatically disappeared.

  • Where you at SIRI? Still trying to figure out sports scores?

  • JMonkeYJ

    i never see package tracking or seemingly any gmail-related cards even though i have linked my gmail account. has anyone else seen this and know what to do?

  • The other day, it put up a card that said “Concert by artist you’ve watched on YouTube” and the band’s name. It freaked me out a bit (mostly because this card was not announced), but it’s kind of cool, since I listen to most of my music on YouTube anyway.

  • Tyler

    New animation after searching something. After scrolling down if you scroll back up your search appears at the top of the screen. Noticed this when scanning a barcode.

  • Pedro

    Hmm… Google Now keeps crashing on my XOOM. Anyone else?

  • Ramon Blake Guthrie

    The Say “What’s this song?” feature doesn’t work for me 🙁

  • Scott

    NCAA scores please.

    • John

      NHL too

      • Mack

        That will happen when the NHL get’s off their a$$e$ and lets everyone play again.

      • EC8CH


        Here are today’s NHL scores:

        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0
        0 to 0

        • Dan Flores

          This is funny, but it also makes me sad.

  • Pedro

    I wonder if it will start tracking packages now from my gmail account.

    Like that fake Nexus 4 tracking number I got from Google last Thursday.

    Or any of the every packages I’ve had shipped from Amazon.

    • PuzzleShot

      It tracked the PS Vita I bought on Amazon on Black Friday.

  • Christian

    Oh my the search by camera UI is amazing. Google just keeps getting better and better.

  • Alan Paone

    If Of Monsters and Men are nearby, you should definitely go see them! Great live show.

  • Andrew

    When are they gonna allow college sports scores!?

    • Larizard

      ^ THIS

    • Pedro

      January 17th.

  • DC_Guy

    Ha! Boarding passes and NFC! Take that Passbook!

  • Mike C

    So it sounds like this would be able to replace Google Goggles now with the “search with camera” feature

  • Ethan Ash

    Best part about Google Now is that its update cycle is continual. No waiting for software updates or getting a new device – just download immediately. I like that Google is doing that with lots of core apps (see: Gmail, Calendar) and making “fragmentation” less and less a concern.

    • Simon Belmont

      So true. I love the natural language interpretation of my searches and voice actions.

      It truly is great and getting better often. Good job, Google.

    • michael arazan

      Now if they’d only add NCAA sports to the cards

  • PhoenixPath

    …Wish they’d backport that to ICS

  • Navigation shortcut on expanded ‘Time to Home’ notification now

  • carl rainey

    what is the search by camera feature?

    • Justin W

      Google Goggles. It tries to match a picture you take to something in its street view database.

  • kniceguy

    Google Now is the innovation I currently most excited about in the mobile world. I was so pleased when Google just ignored the dumb personal assistant and produced a super helpful, practical service.

    • Simon Belmont

      Totally agree. If you think about it, though, it IS a personal assistant, just not a snarky one like Siri.

      I mean, it anticipates stuff for you, and gives you cards based on what it thinks you’ll need. That’s pretty assisting, IMO. It’s really great. It’s not just reactive, it’s proactive.

      • Russell Tanner

        Yeah, even though Google chose a different (and better, I think) implementation of the “digital assistant” idea, it really did come as an answer to Siri. Google just chose to make it a beefed up version and better interface for the voice search they already had instead of giving it a persona.

        • Simon Belmont

          Siri has its place, but I just think Google Now and Search are more useful. I also like the fact that we’re seeing continual updates whereas Siri’s update track is much slower.

          I love the voice actions with Google Now/Search. It’s like the older (Android 1.6 – 2.3) version on steroids, with natural language processing. Plus, like I said above, they keep adding features.

          • Russell Tanner

            Oh yeah totally. Now is absolutely a better tool than Siri (from what I’ve seen of Siri anyway), I’m just saying that Now was released somewhat as a response. Like, the hype around Siri made Google step up their game by making the functional Voice Search app into something much deeper and more comprehensive. It then became not only a search app, but also a place to constantly update the user with relevant information, and that’s much more than what Siri does.

          • Simon Belmont

            Definitely true. Everyone has been scrambling to respond to Apple’s Siri.

            The fact is, Google had Voice Actions back in 2010 and they still work well on Android 2.x devices. My wife uses them on her OG EVO 4G running Android 2.3. Google Now/Search just makes them that much easier to use because you don’t really have to remember how to exactly phrase things. It just figures it out with its natural language processing, plus it keeps adding more and more of them, whereas the old Voice Actions never got that many additional commands.

          • Russell Tanner

            Exactly 🙂

        • kniceguy

          Just saw this, but I did want to say, it seemed to me almost like a natural upgrade of voice search. For sure they really pushed it when Siri was a big thing but the ease and execution made me think it had already been in the works.

          To me it seems like it would have happened with or without siri. Well maybe. I just wanted to pose that I think it is a real possibility.

          • Russell Tanner

            Definitely. Could be a little of both too.

      • kniceguy

        You’re right. However I think of it not as an assistant. I think it is a tool, which is better really because it is as useful as the person who wields it. In that sense it is not limited to its own capabilities but rather only by how much you are willing to integrate it into your services. That is the vision at least (my opinion of course).

        • Simon Belmont

          Good points. Thankfully, Google has made it pretty painless for Google Now to just be insightful and smart about what you need without much of your user intervention and that should only improve as we move forward.

          Google Now has been one of the more intriguing things that I’ve really been fixated on with Android lately. I look forward to a bright future with it.

  • wes

    Would love to try this on my Nexus 4 that Google refuses to ship to me.

  • EC8CH



    “Translate FACKWORS”

  • Derek Duncan

    weird how it still reads, ‘feature coming later’ when i try to toggle wifi, or bluetooth.

  • Jon

    so awesome

  • MikeSaver