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Google Search Update Introduces Real Time Package Tracking, Faster Search Results, and Card Quick Settings (Updated)


Google Search for Android updated today to include new features and settings in Google Now for devices running Android 4.1+. Package tracking has been improved and now updates in real time (new card below), search results should appear much faster (tough to test that), and individual cards now have an info button (i) that when pressed, gives you quick settings for that particular card. For example, I pressed the (i) on my card for tonight’s Blazers game and it asked to make sure that I cared about this event. Tapping “yes” should help Now to continue to be accurate.

The update is live now, so go get it! 

gmail packages

Update:  Google also completely re-organized the Settings menu for the better. Google Now cards are all in their own separate spot now with On-Off toggles. There is a section for “My Stuff” that has been pulled out on its own, which displays your favorite teams, stocks, and places. Last, there is a simple On-Off toggle for notifications.

google now

Update 2:  The weather card with the hourly slider and extra tools has returned!


Update 3:  Here is a quick video comparison of the new Google Search that was released today versus the previous version. Search results definitely display quite differently, but in a good way. I’m also not sure that the “faster search results” claim is correct. In these quick and unofficial tests, I actually show the old version posting up results first.


Play Link

Our running list of Google Now cards has been updated.

Cheers @BrianLipp!

  • ranndino

    Not all changes are for the better. Google seems to have killed off the granular settings for sports cards which unfortunately means that I’m gonna have to turn them off completely. I often don’t have time to watch games I’m interested in live so I had it set to “before game” only. That way it would tell me when my team was playing, but would not update me during the game or spoil the score of a game I haven’t watched yet. I noticed today that now it seems to just give you a choice between having sports cards on or off, which promptly spoiled the score of a weekend game I haven’t yet had a chance to watch.

    P.S. If I’m incorrect & the option to set the sports cards to show up only BEFORE a game still exists please feel free to let me know.

    • mtmra70

      Ditto. It seems like they removed this option. ANNOYING.

    • stigg

      This ‘new feature’ totally spoiled a big game result for me. Pretty pissed off. I’ve disabled the sports cards for now.

  • iceburgh

    I liked the how far have you walked run card, but saw it one month only and haven’t seen it show up since.

  • This update has broken more than its fixed. Asking for directions to “home” or “work” is now completely broken. Even better, just ask “I need directions” and enjoy the irony that follows. SMH.

  • tran van nam

    Hopefully they will add support for NCAA Football by the time fall rolls around! Right now the only NCAA teams you can add are for mens hoops.http://suanha360.com.vn/

  • chapman1969

    Well mabe with google search update we might be closer to having the 4.2.1 update from verizon. For the gs3 owners and hopefully lime pie before long. That would be alsome

  • George264

    Thanks Google, now I need a change of pants.

  • Dale Bloom

    Won’t be turning Google Now back on until the battery drain issue is fixed.

  • Theron

    This update broke the “Play” or “Listen to” commands. After the update it won’t play through YouTube or my media player like it used to. No one has pointed this out online yet, please verify and post results people!

    • “I need/give me directions to” is mostly broken now as well.

      • Steve Benson

        Working fine here on the new version.

    • usaff22

      Other commands don’t work as well for me. For example when asking “How old was Kim Il Sung?” it just does a web search.

  • Sammy

    You can even open apps from Google now!!

  • Nicktrance

    I must say the old version looks much cleaner, the new one is more practical though…

  • Tyler

    And yet timers still set alarms….

    • Deon Garrett

      My understanding is that that’s an issue with the clock app rather than Google Now. They need to expose the 4.2 timer functionality as a separate intent that can be called from outside.

  • Wesley Schwartz

    It seems they took away the ability to play music by voice. “Play” and “listen to” no longer do anything but a web search when done from both my phone and tablet since the update. I literally used “listen to” 5 minutes before I updated and it worked.

  • perfect and I’ve got a package in transit, lets see how the updated Google Now performs

  • Christopher Pack

    Also now you are allowed to use Bluetooth with the app. You should add this to the article.

    • Steve Benson

      This is really nice. Glad they added this.

  • Michael Quinlan

    I hope they fixed the problem where Google Now tells me I should leave by 1:30 to arrive on time for my 2:00 appointment, but doesn’t tell me until 2:15. It became very unreliable about 6-7 weeks ago, around the time of the last update.

  • Christopher Pack

    I spotted something not in the changlog that you might want to add in this article. Not there is the option of using Bluetooth.

  • Still no wind speed on the weather card. Deal breaker for me.

  • We need toggle support.

  • Seems like the package tracking actually got worse, not better. Before, there was a “track package” link on all my current packages, and now, the link is there for only some of them. The cards themselves though do not have any extra information on them.

  • Is the Bluetooth option new?

  • JordanMcRae

    The quick settings are so smooth, beautiful, and intuitive. Love it!

  • Austin Warren

    Nice camera

    • I thought at camera was an ad. oops

      • Austin Warren

        I just noticed it was from December too, lol

  • JamesU513

    Damn, I can’t find where the options are for the sports teams….used to let me choose if i wanted to be alerted about the beginning of the game or the end, etc. … I work all the time so I’m always recording games and watching them later…now I have to turn off these alerts completely so the games are not ruined for me…lame

    • mplacido9

      I’m having the same issue. I hope that they update it soon and add that feature back in. Sucks cause now I have to disable the sports card altogether.

    • Paul Purcell

      Yeah.. this is actually the first thing I noticed, ruined a game I had paused. WTH would they remove this option?

  • AlphaNoble

    Hopefully they will add support for NCAA Football by the time fall rolls around! Right now the only NCAA teams you can add are for mens hoops.

    • +1 to this idea. Can’t imagine they won’t, but it’s a must-need.

      • AlphaNoble

        Definitely want to keep an eye on Oregon with their new coach and returning QB.

        • Dylan Patel

          Who cares about NCAA Football outside of the SEC. They are the only teams that actually matter. 😛 kidding, kidding, I do hope the cards are more than just scores though,

          • AlphaNoble

            As you could see from my avatar, that one was especially painful

    • EC8CH

      NCAA FCS Football….

      GO BISON!

    • Larizard

      Yah, i can’t wait to add Women’s Gymnastics

  • antwonw

    That’s pretty contrary to Android UI design standards with the Action Overflow button being replaced. Interesting.

  • Real time shipping updates? I couldn’t even get it to work in the first place.

    • Pedro

      You and me, both.
      Every email (Shipped!) I get from Amazon is immediately forwarded to my Google Now email. Now has yet to tell me when ANY package will arrive.

      It does a damn fine job on all the other cards, except for alerting about a Sports game today. Tells me about past games, but I’d really like it to remind me that the Spurs are playing NOW!

      • Yeah, even my google play shipments didnt show up.

      • Flat_Stanley

        For me it doesnt work if the email is forwarded from another account. I thought it would just scrape all tracking numbers from any email (like it does for the links on the right sidebar within Gmail), but it doesn’t seem to work that way. Unless the shipping confirmation email is directly sent me to me, I won’t get it via Google Now, and even then, it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I get the card AFTER the package has been delivered.

        • I had to change my amazon account email to my gmail account and now it works every time, on time.

    • Raven

      So, I currently have 2 packages on the way from Woot! neither of which are showing up on Google Now which is not terribly surprising because Woot! does not include the tracking number is their emails, just links to get the numbers from their site. I wish Google simply had somewhere I could go and paste in the tracking numbers. I might have to try making up an email with the tracking numbers and sending it to myself, but that seems rather silly.

  • Liquidretro

    YES this is what package tracking should have been in the first place. Love Google Now!

  • Juan Lopez

    When is Google Search coming for Chrome OS!!!!!?????

    • Hey, hey! Leave some punctuation for the rest of us!

      • hyperion5

        Not to worry. I have plenty of punctuation for sale. $1 per exclamation point. Only $.15 per period.

  • Nexus_FrEak

    Today is just full of Google Goodness!!

    • It has been a great day for updates, now that you mention it.

      • palomosan

        Really love this update, much much better.

      • ChristianJohnson

        I’ve noticed a slight increase in speed with Google Now on my Gnex. The search results for me seem to be a little bit faster as well.