Back in April, we posted a rumor that Google Now was on track to properly handle timer queries (like "set a timer for five minutes") using the clock app's built in timer functionality, rather than simply setting an alarm.

Nearly a month later, we saw mention of the functionality in a teardown of the Search app itself, and today it looks like that functionality has finally been switched on.

Users who say "Set a timer for [time]" will be greeted with a card letting them know the timer is about to commence, with the option to skip straight to starting the timer.

Screenshot_2014-05-21-21-57-35 Screenshot_2014-05-21-21-57-42

Once you've done that, a notification will sit in your tray to let you know how much time is left, until the timer runs out. This seems like a small feature, but it's one that's been bugging us (and everyone else) for quite some time. For those wondering, the functionality does appear to work with clock apps included in OEM firmware like HTC's Sense. Let us know how it works for you.

Via Reddit

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Gabriel Seixas

    I don't know, I just can't like this "countdown" when we say "open [app]" or like this one above, maybe it could be instant or ask for another command like "Are you sure about this?" and so, you can say "Yes" or "No".

    • Simon Belmont

      They'll probably be making it more conversational soon (I/O perhaps). I really just want my notifications and texts and emails and dictated messages read back to me at a voice command.

      It's a simple concept, but they need to implement it in a thoughtful way, so I'm not surprised they're taking their time on it. But, yeah, I want fully hands-free use in that manner, too.

  • Chris G

    odd first time i tried, it didn't work did it the old way. second time worked flawlessly and not restricted to US only.

    • liperus

      Same here. Didn't work the first time and worked perfectly the second

    • Inderpreet Kang

      Same here, didn't work first time but worked flawlessly second time on Nexus 5

  • Thomas Phillips

    Doesn't seem to work with Timely. Keeps sending me to the Clock app.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      It seems that it will defer to the built-in clock app. If you disable the built-in app and leave only Timely, it will say there's no app to handle the timer.

      • https://plus.google.com/+MichaelBond codemonkey85

        I was about to suggest someone ask the Timely devs to look into this, when I suddenly realized my mistake. :-(

        Hopefully Google merges the best parts (all) of Timely into the stock clock.

    • Indianajonze

      i was just about to come here to post this. if you use timely and have disabled the damn clock app you're SOL

  • scuttlefield

    Works perfectly for me. Now I just wish the notification icon was dynamic and actually showed the number of minutes left.

  • jim

    Worked on Note 3. "Set a timer for 34 seconds". Then, "start timer". Nice feature to have, finally.

  • Crispin Swickard

    It wanted to create an alarm for me, and not a timer. Strange...

    • pfmiller

      Try again.

  • Manu Krishnan

    Finally!!!! Wonder what took them soo long to get this right

    • joser116

      I can understand that it could be complicated and decisions had to be made since some, if not most, Android devices don't have the stock Clock app and have their own clock apps.

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

    Woohoo. Tested on S5, M7, and M8. Works on all of 'em.


    I think this is a bad news. Several days ago. I can serch http://www.hdgenius.com by google. But now i can't serch it. I think these days. Google has some bad news.

    • Jack Jennings


      • http://cyanlabs.co.uk/ Fma965

        spammer.... he wants you to search that site obviously

  • Aleksey_US

    Would be nice if the timer notification area info included real lime seconds and not just minute info

  • mtz

    Weird. I still got only weather working in Google Now :P But I'll keep trying

  • alfuen00

    Works fine in galaxy phones and tablet, at least in 4.4.2 ones don't have older at hand, note3, s5 and note PRO 12.2".

  • Alko Pone

    Still not working in germany...

    • akshay7394

      What font is that? Segoe?

    • Drago

      To Google Now timer: "Ve Germans have vays of making you vork."

      Google Now: "I didn't catch that."

  • abobobilly


    The time it took Google to fix this puny (but annoying) issue is mind boggling, and very disturbing.

  • me

    Is it possible when you gave names to your timers in the clock app to call them through Google now? Like set the "egg timer"?

    • Kree Terry

      That would be pretty useful.

  • Udit Kumar

    well.. ive been able to work this up since a week! (got a new Moto G in India!)

  • Blopa

    Working perfectly on my Moto X

  • Miro Costa

    Same here. Didn't work the first time and worked perfectly the second.
    I'm in Portugal, but have the system language on my Moto G set to English.

  • Dinesh Nalluri

    Working here with Kitkat on LG G2 Stock ROM!


    Working in the UK on Nexus 5. i guess SIRI cant do this ;-)

    • Tyler

      Siri has been able to do this for a while, which always urked me that siri was better in that case.

  • Ashley Jarrow Kho

    What about the Moto G and several Sony Xperias? Anyone???

  • Caio Moreno

    It will be very usefull with a smartwatch to see the notification

  • yahyoh

    works like charm on my Note2 with 4.4.2 :D

  • Matthew Fry

    Actually tried this last night. It tried to set an alarm for 'input a time' and when I touched that it set an alarm for 12am. Maybe it was in mid rollout.

  • Simon Belmont

    I like how when i do the timer command, the Google Search results at the bottom are a link to a complaint about how Google Search can't do a timer voice command yet. Haha, the irony.

    This is really nice. Such a simple concept, but it took eons to add. My hopes are high that we'll see a much richer voice command (hands-free) experience soon. They've been working hard on it.

  • Matt McNair

    HTC One(m7) with Sense 6 confirmed working with inbuilt Sense clock timer. HUZZAH!!

  • Chris Shim

    So this is fun, try setting a timer for x and a half minutes, it completely breaks and sets the timer for several hours away. If you set it for 1 and a half minutes it sets the timer to go off at midnight from what I saw.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    I know I'm picking nits to say this, but...

    It would be really nice if it credited the time spent waiting for confirmation against the timer. On maybe a 10-minute timer that's no big deal, but if you're setting it for, say, one or two minutes, and it's being used for food prep, it might actually have an impact. So if it takes, say, three seconds to count down before setting it, set the timer for 57 seconds.

    Still, fantastic to finally have this. Long overdue.

  • steelew

    Still not working on my S4 running 4.3

  • Steve Wight

    Note 2 here as well, (SGH-i317m;4.3) and can't get it to work. I also cleared the Timely defaults. Tried two times in a row like folks are suggesting. So strange...