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Google Search received a pretty significant update this morning, adding yet more Google Now cards, speed enhancements, and three new voice actions. The now cards include nearby events, "suggestions to help you with your research" (whatever that means), QR code boarding passes (!) from Gmail, location-sensitive search by camera (aka Google Goggles), weather at places Now thinks you're travelling to based on Calendar and Gmail, and monthly summaries of your walking and biking activity. Wow.

Google Now - Travel Cards Update2

Here's the full changelog:

For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean), Google Search keeps getting faster, plus:

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
- Birthdays (the cards now have new options, like post a happy birthday wish to G+ from the notification bar)

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

Barcode scanning is pretty neat, though it's been built into Goggles for ages - a product that, frankly, should be merged with Google Search at some point. The "What's this song?" feature that is obviously pulled from the existing widget, and posting to Google+ via voice is cool, I suppose. Hit up the web market to get it if you're not seeing the update on your device.

You can read more about the update on the official Android blog, here.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    What I'd love now is a way for it to also tie in the cool new email functions (like shipment tracking and boarding passes) from more than just the primary email account. I use multiple for various purposes, almost all of which are Google-based, and I suspect going forward a bulk of those two will get shifted to one of my work accounts. Having that info in here too would be really nice.

  • Ian Santopietro

    Markup fail at the end?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Yep. :

      • Ian Santopietro

        It happens...

      • http://www.ninetwozero.com Karl Lindmark

        @rdr0b11:disqus > You're actually able to post to Twitter too (I take it you need to have the official Twitter app though). Quite neat. :-)

  • Graham

    Tried the "What's this song" voice search. Just leads me to George Harrison's "This song"...

    • http://twitter.com/Z33KtheG33K Jon Bair

      I had to say "What is this song" I must slur words together or something

      • trjcasper

        I tried it with "What song is playing?' and it brought it up exactly along with a link to Google Play to buy the track for $.99

    • ddpacino

      Worked for me. Don't know if its just Google's Voice Search or the personalized voice recognition, but it's picked up my voice requests pretty well since launch.

    • http://www.facebook.com/HenriqueMelissopoulos Henrique Melissopoulos

      Same here!

    • IncCo

      same here, doesnt work..

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      Apparently it only works in the US right now.

    • QwietStorm


  • http://bit.ly/TylerHilliard Tyler Hilliard

    The 'Time to Home' card that pops up in the notification bar now displays a 'Navigate' instant shortcut when it is expanded!

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

      Hell yes!

    • nsnsmj

      That's awesome!

      Could you post a pic of what sports scores look like now? I saw someone mention it looks different somewhere else. I can't get data working on my phone right now.

      • Jays2Kings

        Not sure about notifactions. but the cards changed.

    • abhisahara

      If m not wrong this used to be there since the last update. I haven't updated to the latest update from play store today....so let the notification appear and i will confirm :)

  • heat361

    Google voice just keeps getting better and better we can't even see the competition in the rear view mirror :p

    • http://profiles.google.com/tills13 Tyler Sebastian

      Google Voice is pretty pathetic. Google Now/Knowledge Graph/voice recognition, on the other hand...

      • heat361

        You know what I meant lol

  • http://Twitter.com/eggoespada Eric Gonzalez

    Now the ability to post to other social networks and toggling device features would be nice. Very nice update though, especially the song search. Makes sense for it to be there.

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

    Sweet, delicious update. On that note, looks like Goggles is going bye-bye soon as it's being merged with Search.

    • ddpacino

      I just said that in my preliminary review post on G+ about this update, lol. Great minds, Artem...

    • trjcasper

      so when can we delete goggle off the device?

      • mikeym0p

        When Search can scan barcodes using continuous video. I can definitely see it getting phased out.

    • Casen Brashear

      The real test is if scanning a books barcode will take you to the play store. Now, Goggles will scan, bring up the book listing, then take you to a Google books web store where you can buy physical copies. There is no way to get to Play Books from there and it is frustrating. I will have to try it later.

  • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

    Happy to see the first 'device features' make their way into Now. Hopefully this paves the way for the others that are hinted at within the app to come soon.

    Sport cards, at least in the UK, got an upgrade too. Still waiting for motorsport teams to get support, but this is all good stuff!

  • Ryan Austin

    You can also bring up the barcode scanning by saying "What is this?"

    • http://www.facebook.com/HenriqueMelissopoulos Henrique Melissopoulos

      Or just say "this".

    • ddpacino


    • IncCo

      or just say "Scan"

  • Praveen Kartha P

    Did "What's this song" work?

  • Ryan Young

    I just wish samsung would get rid of s-voice and just integrate google voice search.

  • nikov

    Is there a way to trigger specific cards. The only one I have luck calling up is weather. I'd like to be able to call up the traffic card at my convenience "Time to home" and "traffic to home" just get me web searches. Unfortunately just going to navigate provides the simplest route; the now card shows the the two alternate route I usually take and the time on each.

  • Peter

    They broke the stock widget....now it only displays stocks traded on the NYSE even if you've specifically picked one on another exchange :(

  • http://profiles.google.com/mechanizedapathy Shawn Brandel

    More than the new included features, I await the APK teardown!

  • Jason Banich

    I hope they fixed package tracking

  • Ramon Blake Guthrie

    The (Say "What's this song?") feature doesn't work for me, on my Samsung Galaxy S III GT-I9300 running 4.1.1 is this a US only feature? :(

  • Ryan Wallace

    FC's when I ask for what the song is.

  • nsnsmj

    The camera search interface looks really good.

  • Jays2Kings

    Also the research card function. I was doing a research paper for the play Antigone, and searching things yesterday. First thumbnail is is the card normally. Second one is it when you tap the card.

    • http://profiles.google.com/tills13 Tyler Sebastian

      That's really neat. I just wonder what the "research threshold" is.

  • Jorge Ivan Sanchez Gonzalez

    S**t is blazing fast

    • http://twitter.com/tigerhawkvok Philip Kahn

      Damn, you're right. The voice recognition is almost real-time now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    Man, this is a huge update. And that song search is only about 300x faster than Shazam. I have Shazam Encore installed but will be uninstalling it now. It has no purpose.

  • Barton82

    Huh, it showed me that walking/biking thing over a month ago.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tills13 Tyler Sebastian

    The animations look a lot smoother/slicker, as well.

    The "this" or 'scan" animations are some of the sexiest I've seen yet on Android.

  • Disqus Sucks

    Still no NCAA sports in Google Now. Fail Google. Fail.

    • Carlos Miller

      I'm with you. I like professional sports but I'd really like NCAA sports too, especially men's basketball and football. For now, I use 365 Scores which gives notifications.

  • Rosh

    It closes for me just before scanning bar codes :-(
    On Asus tf300

  • Christopher Theofilaktos

    I can't get what's this song to work

  • needa

    the monthly walking and riding card is really cool. i have often wondered how many miles i walk when playing disc golf. something to total all of that up without me having to run an app in the background, or even remembering to run an app in the background is great.

  • Ryan O’Neill

    Goodbye SoundHound...

  • mldi

    Finally! Birthdays reminders! It's about freakin' time!