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This is why it's great that Google unbundles core apps from the OS. While it might take a considerable amount of time before the newest version of Jelly Bean rolls out to your device, current Android 4.1 users can upgrade Google Search right now and get access to the latest improvements to Google Now. The list of fun new features includes additional cards (like Stocks, News, Concerts, and Packages), as well as voice actions, including the glorious ability to add events to your calendar with via speech.

now3 2012-10-29 14.19.29 2012-10-29 14.19.14 

Here's the changelog:

What's in this version:
For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean), Google Search is faster plus:
- Google Now works with Gmail (English only)
- Flights
- Restaurant reservations
- Hotel confirmations
- Events
- Packages
- New Now cards: nearby attractions & photo spots, movies opening in theaters, concerts & more
- New voice actions: launch apps, schedule meetings & check when your next appointment is
Google Now puts you in control: at any time, adjust or turn off individual Now cards within Settings.

The Gmail bit is particularly interesting, as there is now a separate subsection for cards that are pulled from your email. Packages, flights, hotels, restaurant reservations and event bookings can all be accessed via cards if you give Google permission to scan your correspondance for relevant bits of data. If you're uncomfortable with that, yet still want to use Google Now, you can selectively disable individual cards. Check out all the new features here. There are a lot of them.

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The update is incredible and available on your 4.1+ device right now. If you're missing an update button (as some of us were), you can force an update by installing it via the widget below.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Abhigyan Banerjee

    Google Now orgasm just happened.

  • tenki
    • tenki

      New lock screen is sick! at 2min

    • http://twitter.com/Pascalwb Pascal

      Really nice feathures, new camera, lock screen, setting drawer with 2 fingers. ...

  • Davy Jones

    I tried "turn on wifi" and got a message "Sorry, device features are not yet supported."

  • TrueFarm

    I remember trying this with Google Now when it first came out, apparently it didn't work back then. Now I can, yay!!!

  • Guest

    Downloading it now... 9.47MB.

  • guyfromtrinidad

    just got my 4.1 update on Friday and now this...sweet. BTW with the new update on my S3 the stock camera app stopped working, has this happened to anyone else

  • BigC_13

    What's the command for making calendar input? I'm not getting anything and can't even find a sample card.

    • Aaron Berlin

      "Create an event for Thursday at 6pm" seems to work fine for me.

  • Davy Jones

    Weird, calendar appointment's must need specific wording. I tested out "make an appointment next Wednesday doctor" and it creates a calendar event at 9am. However, when I say "make an appointment next Wednesday at 6pm doctor" and was told: "Sorry, alarms and reminders support times of day but not dates."

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Most amazing Search/Now update to date. I'm so incredibly excited about the new functionality.

    Check the Settings for Google Search - there's just so much now.

    • Kenny O

      It's amazing how Google is able to exceed our already high expectations time and time again.

  • Casey Borders

    There is a new NFC permission! What's that for!?

    • Davy Jones

      Probably for a new voice toggle feature that doesn't seem to work yet. At least on my device.

    • Mental_Moose

      Probably for NFC.

      • http://twitter.com/Alankrut Alankrut Patel

        Thanks for giving me a good laugh

  • Djones

    Weird, my comment was deleted.

    Calander events must need some specific wording I don't know. I tried "make an appointment next Wednesday doctor" and it made an appointment for 9am. However, when I tried "make an appointment next Wednesday at 6pm doctor" it told me: "Sorry, alarms and reminders support times of day but not dates." So it seems to think events with a time is an alarm and not a calendar event.

    • Davy Jones

      Forget this, something must be wrong with my browser.

  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    So it doesn't appear to actually WORK with any of these new features.

    Someone forgot to uncomment all of the new code before hitting publish :P

  • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin

    Package tracking, finally! And the best part is it pulls it from Gmail, so I don't need to do anything.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I've been using Slice https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.slice for this, but now I won't really need it anymore. I mean, Slice is still nice to keep track of everything in one place - you can't really tap into Now and see a good list. But still, Slice has been bitch slapped today.

      • http://www.theandroidsite.com benmarvin

        Pretty much anytime Google updates things, they bitchslap a popular app or two. I remember when ICS came out it made so many apps no longer relevant.

        • Paul_Werner

          Swype was as well

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        Slice was partially backed by Eric Schmidt. I've got a feeling there is something a little friendlier happening between the two companies.

        Besides, Slice still gives you complete purchase history, stats tracking, and it's still the only game in town on the Web and iPhone. It's not completely smacked down yet.

  • Jared Fulgham

    Just saw there's a setting for a card for your birthday. Mine's on Thursday, so that should be freaking awesome!

  • Alan Ng

    oppen apps ?=

  • http://profiles.google.com/marcusleejh Marcus Lee

    Anyone tried searching "to be or not to be?" like in the video?

    All that happened was that my device tried to create a personal note for "or not"...

  • Phil

    Any word on if/when they will include College sports in the cards?

  • Sumit Grover

    Not able to see any more settings options after Birthday...No Gmail option etc...could it be due to the leaked gmail app for 4.2 that I am using. Anyone else using the same version of gmail experience this?

    • Havoc70

      I am using the same version Gmail you are and i see the settings for packages, flights etc

    • http://www.facebook.com/nikhilkaduskar Nikhil Kaduskar

      I"m facing the same thing, and having the same Gmail app that you have... I'm on NS; maybe it's not supported completely

    • XzinteR

      You'll need to set your phone to US English. For some reason they completely missed all other variations of the English language

      • http://www.facebook.com/nikhilkaduskar Nikhil Kaduskar

        Awesome... now it's working! But now obviously the phone won't understand what I'm saying since I preferred using India English :D

    • Sumit Grover

      Aah...it works with changing the language to US English under Settings > Language Settings > System Language

  • Mental_Moose

    Anyone know if "Google Now works with Gmail (English only)" really means US only or something like that?

    I have everything set to English, but I still can't find Gmail in Google Now after updating.

    • mrsbelpit

      Try setting it to US English?

      • Mental_Moose

        Well, of course the simplest and most obvious suggestion should turn out to be the correct one ...
        Thought it was, but you made me double check and it was UK English :p
        Thank you.
        I'll just stand in the corner for now ...

        • mrsbelpit

          Ha ha! Glad you got it working.

  • IncCo

    anyone know how to launch an app ?

    • oomatter

      "Open", "launch", "run", and "start" have all worked for me so far, but only for some apps. Email, Gmail, and Facebook worked, but not Chrome or Dropbox.

      • IncCo

        Thank you, it seems to be very limited at the moment.

  • http://twitter.com/junibert Jun Nozaki

    I'm on a stock HTC One S and it says it's not compatible, any idea why? It's running 4.0.4 + Sense. Could Sense be the reason? Could you guys throw up the APk somewhere?


    • Himanshu Mendhe

      Its probably because that it is not running 4.1(jellybean). You'll have to wait for HTC to roll-out 4.1 for your device. If you don't want to wait you can always flash your device with any of the Jellybean ROMs available for your device.

      • http://twitter.com/junibert Jun Nozaki

        Ah, derp. It was showing it as available for my older phones like the G1, but I guess that's because they have multiple versions in the store, and my One S already has the latest one for ICS. Oh well, supposedly we're getting the JB upgrade soon...

  • grellanl

    The Gmail integration doesn't seem to work with gapps domains yet.

    Which is completely unsurprising, but worth noting I guess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nikhilkaduskar Nikhil Kaduskar

    I'm not able to see the " Packages, flights, hotels, restaurant reservations and event bookings" settings.. any particular reason why?
    I'm running the leaked Gmail with pinch-to-zoom... could that be the reason?

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    Did a teardown, nothing hidden. Which is good for me because I'm dodging bits of hurricane right now.

  • Mike

    did u really have to remind me about the san francisco/Detroit game with that screenshot.... proud Detroiter right here

  • http://www.facebook.com/glivingstone Gareth Livingstone

    I can't find the Gmail settings anywhere. Using a Galaxy SIII and set my language to US English but still no luck. Anyone have any ideas why?

  • http://twitter.com/standalittle Daniel Standish

    A working syntax for making new calendar events is as follows: ["create new event", or "make new event"] + [name of event, e.g. "consider taking a shower"] + [day, e.g. "tomorrow", or "Thursday", or "the year 2000"] + [time]. If you put the time / date first it gets confused.