Google Now Seems to be Learning Contact Addresses When Traveling, Gives Time to Navigate to Them

A couple of weeks ago, I took a 5-day trip back to my home state of Montana to visit family and friends. I stayed with my dad, of course, but during the stay, I noticed an interesting Google Now card that kept coming up after a day or two after having been there. The card kept popping up with “Time to Dad’s,” as a reminder of how long it would take me to get back to his house. It was like the “Time to Home” card that you see if you have your home location added to your Now location settings. The card shows up if you leave home, so that you always know how long it will take to get back there no matter where you are.

I thought this card was interesting because my dad’s address wasn’t on my calendar, it isn’t in my location settings, and not once did I perform navigation on how to get to his house while I was there, because it’s in my home town of Whitefish and I know exactly how to get there. But over the last couple of days on the trip, each time I left his house, it kept telling me how to get back there, just like that “Time to Home” card. It was as if Google knew I was in Whitefish, MT, and that I was staying with my dad because his address is included in his contact card and I kept hanging out there for hours on end. It also could have been that it was simply looking through contacts to find nearby friends or family and was giving me the time it would take to get to their houses.  (more…)

Google Will Now Detect if a Website Won’t Work on Your Device, Warn You

Starting today, Google will use yet another of its algorithms to detect if a website may not work on your device and then warn you. Should you search for a website in Google Search on your Android 4.1+ phone that may be an Adobe Flash laden page, Google will toss in a note under the search listing to explain that you may not receive the best experience should you visit it.  (more…)

“No, I Said” Command in Google Now Lets You Correct Butchered Voice Searches

Voice searches with Google Now can sometimes be an exercise in futility it seems. Its accuracy is predicated on many factors, such as the quietness of your surroundings and the clarity of your speech, so results can be pretty inaccurate at times.

Thankfully, Google is acknowledging this problem. The company is rolling out a new feature which allows you to correct misheard words and phrases with your voice. (more…)

Google Makes “Ok Google” System-wide Hotword Detection Official

Yesterday, after downloading the newest version of Google Search (3.5.14), we discovered that a new setting for system-wide “Ok Google” hotword detection had been placed inside of the application.

Previously, users would need to be on the home screen of their compatible Android device to use the hotword, but with this new feature enabled, users can say “Ok Google” within any app to initiate a Google search, and even on the lockscreen.  (more…)

Google Search 3.5.14 Adds “OK, Google” Hotword Everywhere, Plus Audio History

Google Search 3.5.14 is beginning to rollout with a couple of major enhancements. First, Google is allowing users to enable the “OK, Google” hotword to be said from anywhere on the phone to prompt a voice search. So rather than having to be on your home screen, you can now be in Chrome or looking at photos and quickly kick off a voice search. The update even allows you to trigger an “OK, Google” from the lock screen. It works quite well so far in our testing.  (more…)

“OK, Google. Set the Temperature” is Coming Soon to Nest, Other Services too Thanks to Developer Program

Nest announced its new developer program this evening, just two days before Google kicks off its annual developer conference. The Google-owned smart home company has worked with a number of companies behind the scenes to get to this day, which means they are already showing off some of the potential of opening up their API and giving developers tools to get products a “Works with Nest” badge of honor, if you will.

Think of having a more “conscious and thoughtful home,” that is more aware because of Nest’s interaction with the products you use every day.  (more…)

Tip: Do a Google Search for Artists, Tap Quick Links to Apps to Listen to Them

If you are looking for one of the quickest ways to listen to your favorite artists, Google has you covered. A simple Google Search for the artist name will bring up not only information, images, and news for that artist, but there will also be a list of apps on your device capable of playing that artist immediately. Tap your favorite music  service, and bam, you are taken to the artist page or list of results within the app to get you listening away.

As you can see from my screenshots, apps like YouTube and Google Music were both listed, but other services like iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Rdio should also be supported.

Give it a try, if you are in the US.  (more…)

Google Search is Ready for the World Cup

Google Search is ready to bring you up-to-the-minute World Cup news as you need it on your mobile device. As Google noted today on G+, they have “you covered with match schedules, group information and more.”

For example, you could search for “world cup” starting today, and see the upcoming daily match schedule. Once the action starts on June 12, a quick search of “world cup” or your favorite team will bring you live scores, team rosters, and major plays.   (more…)