Google Now Stories March 4

It’s been clear for some time now that Assistant Snapshot “does not have the same level of vision, central on-phone placement, or wide backing” as Google Now. It was never going to be game changing, but its upcoming demise officially closes the chapter on what could have been a radically different way to use smartphones.

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Google Now Stories November 24, 2021

To the left of most Android homescreens is a feed that “actively tunes itself to a user’s interests and displays content that aligns with those interests.” This is Google Discover and something that people have many varying opinions about that are rooted in what it replaced: Google Now.

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Google Now Stories August 10, 2021

Tomorrow will hopefully mark the beginning of the Apple Watch getting a serious competitor in the form of Samsung hardware running Google software. The wearable space is in serious need of competition, but it’s unfortunate how the two competing efforts are fundamentally the same. That similarity has deep ramifications for how we will experience technology for the foreseeable future.

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Google Now Stories July 15, 2017

Google is constantly testing out new designs for its various services, and recently, the company has been looking to adjust Google Now’s look. A new design has been circling around the web for a few weeks, but today, it seems to be rolling out to more users.

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Google Now Stories July 14, 2017

Accelerated Mobile Pages have long appeared in Search results on the mobile web and Google app. However, they have noticeably been absent from the article-heavy Google Feed. Fortunately, it appears that AMP stories are finally appearing as Now cards on Android.

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Google Now Stories June 22, 2017

Nova Launcher’s Google Now integration now works on Lollipop devices

Just last week the talented developers behind Nova Launcher finally solved one of the biggest pain points of almost every third-party launcher by including native Google Now integration. The feature is clean and works great, but it does involve a bit of a workaround to activate. Now, the availability of that feature is expanding to older versions of the OS.

Google Now Stories June 15, 2017

Getting quick access to your Google Now feed directly from the home screen can be a little tricky. Apps using the Google Now API aren’t allowed to be published in the Play Store, so some developers have had to get a little crafty with workarounds. Still, if you don’t need all of the customizable options that a launcher like Nova has to offer, why not just use the official launcher?

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Google Now Stories June 14, 2017

Custom launchers are one of the best ways that users can take full advantage of Android’s open ecosystem. Without having to modify their smartphones, users can simply install a third-party launcher and change up the look of their device. Today, Nova Launcher received an update which makes it even better with native Google Now built-in. What other launchers should have this functionality?

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While an A/B test of a new transparent homescreen pane is underway, other users still don’t have access to the most recent revamp of the Google app that added tabs. In a statement, Google has now provided an explanation, as well as hinting at a future update to remedy the discrepancy.

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Google Now Launcher has long been one of the only ways to access your Google Now feed directly from the home screen, thanks to a rule restricting apps on the Play Store from using the service’s API. It’s kept third-party launchers from tapping into the service (and consequently led to slow and clunky solutions like swiping gestures to launch the Google app), but not all developers can be stopped so easily.

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Google Now is a powerful tool, but it only really proves its worth when it can be easily accessed. Now that Google Assistant has taken the place of Now on a long-press of the home button, having Now integrated into the launcher is your best bet. Google’s official launchers used to be the only ways to do that, but starting today one of the biggest third-party launchers is changing that…

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Save for the addition of an “Upcoming” tab and Search shortcuts in the past year, Google Now’s design has remained mostly unchanged. However, it appears that a significant revamp, which features a new transparent homescreen page, is now in the works.

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Google Now Stories May 6, 2017

Google Now is an incredibly convenient service, and many have come to rely on it pretty heavily. Currently, though, there seems to be an issue with the service, rendering it useless to affected users. Thankfully, though, a temporary fix is available.

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Google Now Stories March 9, 2017

How to access Google Now cards with Google Assistant

Google Assistant is available on (or rolling out to) almost any Android smartphone at this point, and despite Google’s efforts to round out the experience of using Assistant, it’s still a jarring experience when coming from Google Now on Tap. Since the rollout started, one of the biggest questions I’ve seen is how to access Google Now cards with Google Assistant, so let’s take a closer look.

Google Now Stories February 8, 2017

How to add a Google Now gesture to Action Launcher 3

With the death of the Google Now Launcher just weeks away, many are looking for alternate options. Thankfully, there are several great ones available. However, there’s not a single launcher on Google Play that can truly replicate the Google Now Launcher’s best feature – a left swipe for Google Now. So, here’s how to add a Google Now gesture to Action Launcher 3.

How to add a Google Now gesture to Nova Launcher

With the death of the Google Now Launcher just weeks away, many are looking for alternate options. Thankfully, there are several great ones available. However, there’s not a single launcher on Google Play that can truly replicate the Google Now Launcher’s best feature – a left swipe for Google Now. So, here’s how to add a Google Now gesture to Nova Launcher.

Google Now Stories December 6, 2016

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In light of Google Assistant, Google Now has undergone several changes in the past few months. The latest has been in testing since October, but is now officially rolling out. A new ‘Upcoming’ tab shows more personalized cards, while more general items will remain under ‘Feed.’

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Google Now Stories October 18, 2016

Google’s new ‘Upcoming’ app section organizes urgent and timely information

Back in August, Google Now was testing a Dashboard tab that showed cards and info from other services. As part of the latest beta version of the app, a new ‘Upcoming’ tab shows cards related to “what’s happening soon and nearby.”

Google Now Stories September 1, 2016

Now Circular UI

We know that Google is no stranger to silent (server side switched) testing that mysteriously and unexpectedly hits random users, but while changes to relatively niche apps like Inbox seem understandable, to see the relatively granitic Search app and the Google Now stream — which have remained largely unchanged for quite a while — even just slightly tweaked has us interested and a bit surprised…

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Google Now Stories August 17, 2016

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Chrome 54 is currently in the Dev channel and includes a revamped New Tab page on Android that lists recommended articles from Google Now (via Android Police). Enabled by default for most Chrome Dev users, the feature is quite useful and hopefully makes its way to other platforms.

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Google Now Stories August 11, 2016

googlenow_dashboard

After adding new features over the past several months, it appears that Google is testing yet another new option for Google Now. This new tab, labeled “Dashboard”, will apparently be used to pull information from other Google services such as Keep, Gmail, Google Photos, and others to bring all of that information into one central location.

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Google Now Stories August 4, 2016

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Following improvements to Google Maps that surface interesting locales, Google Search is now showing restaurant reviews from top critics and what best-of lists (from various publishers on the web) a place has been mentioned in. In related updates, the latest Google app beta now shows weather and stock cards when triggering Now on Tap from the homescreen.

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Google Now Stories July 22, 2016

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There are several great third-party launchers out there ranging from the ultra-customizable, to the unique and simple. One that has been a favorite for many Android users however has been Action Launcher, and it has just picked up yet another great update.

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Google Now Stories July 6, 2016

Google Now weather card updated w/ hourly Wind and Precipitation graphs

This is one of those features that has had a slow and tedious rollout, but now it appears to be visible more widely. If you try searching for weather results with Google Now, you should now be seeing — if you weren’t already — a pair of new hourly Wind and Precipitation graphs…

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Building on a new text selection and search feature introduced last month, an update to Now on Tap adds the ability to translate foreign languages found in any app. On Tap can now also read QR and bar codes, as well as suggest interesting articles and videos as part of a new Discover feature.

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Google Now Stories June 29, 2016

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As is often the case with tragic events such as these, Google is now providing free calls via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice to Turkey. The company has also begun pushing out Google Now cards for people in Turkey with links to emergency resources, and is also providing emergency information in search for those in Istanbul.

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Google Now Stories June 20, 2016

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Popular Bluetooth speaker company Ultimate Ears announced today that it is adding Siri and Google Now integration to its lineup of speakers. With this feature, users can access their music directly from the speaker, making it even easier to change songs, artists, and more.

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Getting used to a new keyboard can be tough for many and it’s one of the primary reasons I’ve always stuck with the Google Keyboard on my devices. However that all changed when Chrooma Keyboard was originally released last year. I instantly switched and now several months later, that keyboard has hit version 3.0. In this version Chrooma not only adopts several features from Google Keyboard 5.0, but also adds several awesome new features of its own. Let’s take a quick look.

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Google Now Stories June 16, 2016

now-on-tap-shortcuts

Now on Tap has received a number of new features in the past year, but the contextual assistant has yet to really take off for a number of reasons. Today, Google has started A/B testing a new feature that adds a number of useful shortcuts and quick links to Now on Tap.

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Google Now Stories June 13, 2016

google-springboard

Over the past few months, Google has rolled out several new features powered by machine learning. Announced at an enterprise event today, Google Springboard allows users to search through Google Apps and acts as a day-to-day work assistant, providing “useful and actionable information and recommendations.” The company also announced a major revamp to Google Sites.

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Google Now Stories June 1, 2016

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Update: In a blog post, Google details new features currently available in English and rolling out soon to other languages. Now on Tap now officially works in the camera app and for images. For instance, users can open the camera app and initiate Now on Tap to identify landmarks. It can also be used in apps like Pinterest to identify artwork.

Rolled out last night to all users, Now on Tap has a new interface and the ability to manually select text from anything in a screenshot to perform a search. Due to a number of factors, Now on Tap has yet to become a hit feature and today’s update is a meaningful change to the product.

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Google Now Stories April 14, 2016

We’ve recently argued that the Galaxy S7 edge may represent the culmination of the “Smartphone 1.0 era”. It won’t please everyone about everything — and no such thing will likely ever exist — but it’s indubitable how all of the cornerstones of a modern smartphone have been tackled cleverly by the Korean giant, and all its positives can even justify its hefty price tag. Actually delivering something that steps up the game in a significant way, in fact, looks like a very tough challenge. Perhaps we will have to wait until true, Project Ara-like modular smartphones show up before radically rethinking the way we look at hardware, but the software roadmap seems to be getting clearer, with a future studded with bots.

Microsoft is betting big on them as a major part of the future of computing, and so is Facebook. There is a case that could be made for them to become the new apps — and this certainly is how these two firms are pitching the concept. Chances are that Google will follow sooner than later, and I think that if the general idea of bots we have been so far given remains valid, the owning of a platform as popular as Android may leave the Mountain View behemoth with quite an interesting card up its sleeve, which could give them a notable lead in the upcoming war for bots dominance, were they to play it cleverly…

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Google Now Stories March 31, 2016

google-now-nest

Google Now is a powerful tool. Combining the huge databases at the company’s disposal alongside the incredible amount of information it can pull – once granted access – from a customer’s usage of its many services, there are dozens of things that Google can help you with. Its power goes from answering to simple questions and completing easy requests to solving increasingly complex tasks that require a combination of the above to give more tailored and specific results.

In a somewhat curious outcome, Reddit user barney13 asked Google to show him some pictures from his trip to Nice, France, which while promptly showing the user correct results about his question also pulled out a snippet from an email which seemed oddly and yet particularly related to the request…

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Google Now Stories March 30, 2016

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Rather unceremoniously, Google began rolling out a new, more natural voice for its Now assistant last week. The first official acknowledgement of the voice comes in Nat & Lo’s newest video, which shows how the voice was made and offers a nice primer on the history and work behind text-to-speech.

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Google Now Stories March 22, 2016

google-voice-search

From adding regional accents to multiple male and female voices, Google has made great strides in making computers sound more natural. According to a video posted today on YouTube, a new voice rolling out to Google Now takes that a step further…

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Google Now Stories March 1, 2016

SoundHound’s Hound voice assistant gets its first public release with version 1.4

We told you about SoundHound’s “Hound” voice assistant when it was first released in beta in June of last year, and now the company has pushed version 1.4 — its first public release…

Google Now Stories February 9, 2016

Google adds real-time flood alerts to web services in India

Google has announced in an official blog post that it’s adding a new flood alert system to its services in India. Thanks to information provided by the Central Water Commission (CWC) users will be able to find flood alerts, including river level info, for more than 170 areas in India where the CWC has active observation stations.

Alerts are available in a number of Google’s apps and services like Google web search, Now cards in the Google app, Google Maps and the Public Alerts homepage on desktop and mobile.

Google Now Stories January 11, 2016

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Google is known for frequently A/B testing new features to small subsets of users. Some are now reporting seeing shortcuts for ‘Recent Searches’, ‘What’s Hot’, and ‘Nearby’ when tapping on the Google Search bar from the homescreen.

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Google Now Stories January 8, 2016

google-now-weather

Update: Google has officially announced the refresh, as well as the ability to add and save multiple locations.

It seems Google is testing a new version of its weather cards in Google Now. Rather than seeing the usual, plain white Material-designed card that we’re used to seeing, some users are noticing a brand new richer design. The cards are colorful, and have far more functionality…

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Google Now Stories December 20, 2015

gift-guide-2015

If you’re looking to shop for the Google lovers in your life, time is running out if you want to receive items by Christmas. Thankfully, the Google Store is offering free overnight shipping until December 22nd, and Amazon Prime members of course have the option to go with free 2-day shipping on a huge number of items. We’ve compiled a list of the best of the best products from the gift guides that we’ve put together over the last months or so, and all of these items — should you order them within a day or two of this publishing — should make it to your doorstep in time for Christmas…

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Google Now Stories December 15, 2015

now-on-tap

Now on Tap has been criticized for its lack of usefulness since its launch in October. Today, it’s receiving its first major update that adds new languages and now recognizes more types of information. The screenshot feature previous seen in the beta channel is also now rolling out again.

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Google Now Stories December 9, 2015

lg-g4-cortana-android

Microsoft has been offering the Android version of its intelligent assistant Cortana as a small-scale beta since last month, and it’s now ready to go live. Engadget notes that it just hit Google Play.

Don’t expect it to match Google Now for functionality, however – with Google’s own assistant deeply embedded into Android and Cortana a mere app, it will have limited capabilities, but you can at least see how it compares when it comes to answering questions …

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Google Now Stories December 7, 2015

Google launches Reminders to bring to-dos into Calendar mobile apps

Today Google Calendar for both Android and iOS gains a handy new Reminders feature that works alongside the app’s to-dos feature.

With the Reminders feature, users will be able to keep track of to-do lists across Google platforms including Inbox, Google Keep, Google Now, and Calendar.

Here’s how the new reminders work:

You might already create calendar entries to remind you to call the doctor or pick up groceries on the way home. But while those entries come and go, Reminders stick with you over time so you can track them until they are actually done. If a Reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your Calendar the next day. And the next. When you do finally call the doctor or pick up those necessities, just swipe the Reminder away … and you’re onto the next to-do.

And since the reminders work across Google apps, you can create them from Inbox, Google Keep, Calendar, and even using Google Now voice commands: “Ok Google, remind me to buy birthday candles.”

The new Reminders feature for Calendar on Android and iOS is rolling out this week. Google says it will come to the web apps in the near future. The updated Google Calendar app for iOS also adds 3D Touch to create events or reminders.

Google Now Stories November 23, 2015

google-communicator-star-trek

In an exclusive interview with TIME, Google’s chief software engineer Amit Singhal revealed that the company once developed a wearable product which works in a similar manner to the Communicator pin badges worn by the Enterprise crew in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Bluetooth-connected lapel pin could be activated by a single tap and had a built-in microphone…

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Google Now Stories November 18, 2015

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Google today is rolling out an update to its iOS app that brings the app to version 10.0 and includes a handful of visual changes. With today’s update, the voice search feature has been redesigned to be more inline with Google’s Material Design aesthetic, while the Google Now cards in the app are now organized in a much more straightforward way.

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Google Now Stories September 28, 2015

google-voice-search

Earlier this year, a release of Google’s app for Android hinted at future ability to use voice search and commands without an internet connection. Offline voice commands could be used for a number of functions, and are now already be up and running for some Android users with the latest Google app installed…

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Google Now Stories September 25, 2015

google-voice-search

Google’s voice recognition technology used in software and services like Google Now and search has been among the best for the past couple of years. Still, the company hasn’t been resting and just announced that the methods in which it detects and predicts words have been improved to give much faster, more efficient results with better reliability…

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Quick tour of new features in Android 'M' developer preview 2 - YouTube 2015-09-25 12-52-20

Although Google isn’t yet rolling out Android Marshmallow to the masses (it’s currently rumored that the rollout will begin on October 5th), many users are this morning waking up to an automatically-updated Google Now Launcher, sporting a design that might be familiar to those who have taken a look at the Android M developer previewexpand full story

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