search logo

Google just pushed an update to its Search app (which, as you know, includes Google Now). Among the new additions are the Google Now widget that we've all been hearing so much about, movie ratings, the ability to pull up movie passes purchased from Fandango, and real estate listings from Zillow when Google thinks you're in the market for a home. Now that's fancy.

fandango ticket nowrealestate1 nowrealestate3

Additionally, the update also adds a music button when a song is playing in voice mode, though that feature is currently limited to the U.S. only. It also adds support for U.S. college sports. We've seen some of this integration before, but now it's official.

Screenshot_2013-02-13-15-18-27 Screenshot_2013-02-13-15-18-07 Screenshot_2013-02-13-15-05-02

The widget is a little odd in that you can resize it, but it will only fill the space if Now gives you enough cards. Each item only gets one line max, no matter how much space you give it. However, you can make the widget take up as much space as possible. So if you'd like to dedicate an entire homescreen to Google Now just in case, you can do that. Be warned, though, you will probably not be able to use all that real estate. Especially on a tablet. It can be added to the lockscreen, though. That's cool.

Also, unfortunately it seems that the movie ratings (powered by Rotten Tomatoes) only shows up on the movies card which will only appear on certain days. Searching for a movie directly doesn't pull up a handy card with ratings and relevant info yet, unfortunately. Still holding out hope for that one.

2013-02-13 14.48.49 2013-02-13 14.48.58 2013-02-13 14.49.07

The music button is particularly interesting as it all but completely eliminates the need for a separate music search widget since you can easily access song matching by tapping on the voice icon on the Google Search widget (assuming you use it) just the same as you would to perform any other voice action. Handy! What's especially cool is that the blue music button will only appear if the app thinks there's music playing in the background. Smart, Google. Very smart.

Source: Android Blog

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.

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    Developing...? What is this, The Verge? :P

    • http://twitter.com/Bluewall Bluewall


    • http://kennydude.me/ Joe Simpson

      just off the edge of the verge where you can hear a police siren

    • MrJigolo

      wannabe-verge. cept android only.

  • Dinofan01

    Weird that they added the button. Don't mind it at all but it was already possible to do this by asking "what song is this."

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I never knew you could do that! That's cool! :) I still wager the button would be helpful for those times when your voice is competing with the music (like at a concert or trying to pin down the song on the radio in a crowded tore), but still. That's neat. :)

      • PhilNelwyn

        There's a site that report this kind of stuff, you should read it, you'd learn a lot of things... it's called Android Police. ;) (there's even an author named like you who write interesting articles)


        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          I don't know. "Ravenscraft" sounds less like someone who's going to share helpful information and more like a dark wizard.

          This Ruddock fellow sounds alright, though. Worst case, sounds like someone I might disagree with about things.

          • Jonathan Litten

            The sad thing is that it doesn't add it to the "What's this song?" widget's history. More fragmentation among Google services...

  • ianoopt

    More polished app. love the widget.

  • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

    "It also adds support for U.S. college sports" - maybe basketball. I still don't see RIT hockey :-(

  • haroonazeem638

    Is the google now widget working for anyone? It's not working on my Nexus 4

    • ianoopt

      Here is what I did: Placed the widget on Homescreen. Opened Google Now. check the widget! its working fine on my Nexus 4.

      • haroonazeem638

        Yes. I figured it out after a while. However, I must say that I do not like it. If you clear the cards from Google Now, they go away from the widget too. I though we could put whatever cards we wanted in the widget independent of Google Now. It's not really helpful for me. Oh well, I will keep using Google Now..Love it either way

    • http://twitter.com/deezil Daniel A. Williams

      I don't see it in my Widgets myself. 4.2 only? (Stupid VZW)

      • Pre86

        I am able to put the widget on my home screen but then I only get one "card" and it's one stock ticker that never changes. HTC Droid DNA.

  • Jason Banich

    Aww, the music thing is cool, but IMO it should listen and try to recognize the song so if you click it, it just automatically goes "This song" instead of having to listen for 3 more seconds

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      The problem I could see with that is if there's music playing in the background, but you want to perform a voice action, it could get mixed up trying to automatically scan for both. Which one is the noise? The crazy thing is, Voice Actions actually can interpret voice commands while music is playing, or detect songs while people are talking (I just tested both myself sitting at my desk by issuing the same command while listening to a song loud enough for my device to hear it), but I think that without the extra button it would be damn near impossible for Google to know which one it's supposed to be listening to.

      • Jason Banich

        Ah, I guess that's true. Then again, it could just give it a shot, and worst case if they couldn't get a good song match, then they start up the dedicated music listening.

      • Simon Belmont

        Yeah. It's pretty amazing that it can discern those things at once.

        I noticed that when I was in my friend's car while he had the radio on a while back. Pretty snazzy.

  • http://twitter.com/SportsAndTV Brian Pearcy

    College sports is working for western Michigan basketball but not for Michigan basketball.

    • Eric Thompson

      Michigan basketball shows for me. Unfortunately they still don't have my true love, Michigan hockey!

  • Jason Banich

    Is it just me, or is there a new option "Personalized recognition" under Google Now settings -> Voice

    • mgamerz

      No that's been there I believe.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        Confirmed. It's been there for a couple versions.

    • Simon Belmont

      Eh. Personalized recognition has been around since even Android 2.x days as far as I know.

      There's an option to turn that on when you first use Google Search (voice). It does learn your style of talking pretty fast with that on.

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

    So the music icon only appears if Google voice search prompt is listening and thinks it hears music, otherwise it's not there. That tickles my geeky senses in ways they haven't been tickled recently.

    • http://www.davehenning.net/ DaveH

      Ah! that's why I couldnt find it. Slick!

      Is 'Search with Camera' new as well?

    • Jason Banich

      If only they had made it so that it started recognizing the song in the background when it heard it, so when you click it instantly tells you the song.

      • Simon Belmont

        Well, that'd be cool but it would use copious amounts of battery life. The mic would have to be constantly open listening.

        I'm sure we'll get to that eventually. When they figure out a power efficient way to leave a mic open to listen to our every whim.

        • Jason Banich

          No, its not constant, it only listens/would listen at this screen: http://imgur.com/BoHjCmm

          • Simon Belmont

            Yeah, I know that's how it works presently. I thought you meant you wished it could just hear commands all the time.

            Anyway, I see what you mean now. Thanks.

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

          If you're in the Google Now screen, the mic is already active and sound is being processed. That's why it recognizes when people use the word "Google" to activate voice search. Same thing Samsung does with the "Galaxy" command, which I think works anywhere.

          • Simon Belmont

            Yes. I know this already because I have Jelly Bean on my EVO 3D, my HP TouchPad, and B&N Nook Color (though no mic) and stock Jelly Bean on my N7.

            The way he originally proposed it made it (at least my interpretation, which was obviously incorrect) sound like he ALWAYS wanted the mic open. Not just at the Google Now screen.

  • http://www.davehenning.net/ DaveH

    There is also a 'Search with Camera' feature. Pretty sure that's new as well.
    It's within the settings at the bottom.

    I also can't find the music button. Is there a special way to get that to show?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Play music. :)

      • http://www.davehenning.net/ DaveH

        Thanks, actually just saw that in Artem's comment.

    • rick

      the search with camera was in the last update ;)

      • http://www.davehenning.net/ DaveH

        Ah. Must have missed that. Thanks..

        It's in an awfully strange location.. :/

  • QwietStorm

    What does that mean, when music is playing in voice mode?

  • Simon Belmont

    Well, the music search widget is still useful if you're using an ICS ROM. I use it on Android 4.0 with Sense 3.6 on my EVO 3D and I love it.

    As for Jelly Bean ROMs, yeah, it basically just adds another way to get a music search done. This is in addition to the music search widget and the "What song is playing?" voice command.

  • zmberven

    something about "mode of Transportation" when editing locations. I don't remember that. New?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft


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

        It's not new, but there 2 new options there: biking and walking.

  • Guest

    I'm also getting a Research Products card. Scan bar codes, as I'm near a Barnes and Noble.

  • Erju

    Next.. let me find movies! Integrate Google Goggles!

  • The Seventh Son

    For the love of god.. please make that widget transparent instead of bright glaring white.