Things are heating up for Android Wear lately. Earlier this week, a new version of the Android Wear companion app began rolling out to make preparations for the next OS update. There's now an update to the Google app in the Beta channel which follows up with some interesting changes of its own: a new Wear-specific app that places the Google Now stream into a distinct card on watches. A teardown also shows some interesting new experiments for continuous queries and text-to-speech. There's even a small tweak for the Google Now Launcher.
The Google Now Card
Views of the new Google Now card and the first page to the right. Read More
Have you noticed anything new when you open the primary Google Now interface? Probably - Google seems to be adding more stuff all the time, including support for integration with third-party apps. Over the last few weeks we've been getting tips about a new Calendar card, an agenda view for upcoming busy days, from a variety of Android Police readers. The rollout on this one seems particularly slow - don't be surprised if you don't see it for several weeks more.
The initial card shows the next chronological item on your calendar and an expansion button. Tap the button and you'll see the schedule for the entire day. Read More
Oh Pandora, how I wish I could quit you. I pay the folks at Google Music for their services, and I know they work hard. They even include music controls in the notification bar and the lockscreen, which you seem to take absolute joy in withholding from me. But on a roadtrip or an exercise session, I always come back to you - years of curated music stations are hard to let go. At least you seem to be updating regularly. The 5.8 update to Pandora adds the 3rd-party Google Now card that was teased back in January.
The actual implementation seems to be pretty similar to the notifications that Pandora sometimes gives you, offering up your own stations or curated playlists. Read More
We first got an indication that Google Now would begin to include election-based content in late September, thanks to the handy UnleashTheGoogle root tool. Now it looks like the "Election Information" cards are appearing for users based in the United States, where the midterm elections will be held next month. (For international readers: those are the ones that elect all the members of the House of Representatives, some members of the Senate, and various state and local offices, but not the President.)
Like most of the content that appears on the Google Now page, you can activate the Election Information card just by searching for relevant pages via the Google Search application. Read More
[Heads up: to use this application you'll need root permissions on your phone or tablet. If you don't have them, you can stop reading here. Now, we continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.] Yesterday we found out about a new Google Now card that can show you changes in the prices of airfare based on recent searches. At least one developer isn't interested in waiting for Google to rollout new Now cards, and found a way to switch them on manually - even the ones that aren't public just yet.
Meet UnleashTheGoogle, an app from developer Zhuowei Zhang. It gives root users a panel in the Google Search settings menu that unlocks all kinds of interesting API tests, not to mention experimental Now cards. Read More
Just days after the Explorer Edition of Google's first wearable device made its way onto the US Play Store, the Glass development team is starting to roll out yet another in a long history of updates. This time we're looking at XE21.0, which appears to be on the smaller side based on the changelog. Only two noteworthy details made it onto the list: faster updates for Google Now cards and accident indicators during Navigation, provided by Waze.
Despite so few changes, this update promises to address two features that haven't seen much improvement over the last several months. For quite some time, users have complained that updates to Google Now cards on Glass would lag behind a paired phone by several minutes, or even more than an hour. Read More
Wanna see something cool? Or, depending on your current location, hot? Then pop open the Google Now interface on your Android phone or tablet. The Weather card is a regular on the Now page, but you might see something new in there today if you have the recently updated stacked multi-city view showing, namely high and low temperatures values. Neat.
That's all there is, there isn't any more - check out the latest Search APK update, including device-wide "OK Google" activation, for more information. And if you're not seeing the highs and lows in your Google Now view, you should soon - Google is notorious for staged feature rollouts. Read More
Google Now does a lot of neat things, but the way Google plugs in its wealth of data makes sure the functionality changes often and in unexpected ways. Case in point, it helps you set reminders for some oddly specific events. Need to cancel an auto-renewing membership? Try asking Google Now.
The latest version of Google Search rolled out yesterday with a couple of pretty great new features. We already know that 3.4 offers a new parking reminder, mall directories, and the start of voice commands for system settings. But there are still a few secrets worth exploring, so let's get to it!
See Your Friend's Photos
The content of Google Now tends to focus heavily on your current or future location, and as a close second, it tries to be helpful with reminders about TV shows and events. What it hasn't really done is hook into the events generated by your friends. Read More