You probably know that you can use the "OK Google" command in Google Now (and just recently, anywhere else in Android) to do some cool things like set an alarm or check a flight number. But up to now, it hasn't been able to do much with the actual hardware on your phone. There's no easy way to expand Google Now functionality with third-party apps, but at least one developer found a work-around: meet Commandr, the new in-between service for flipping hardware switches in Google Now.
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.
During the presentation for the L release, Google talked a little bit about the new search experience in Google Now. Firstly, there's a huge focus on animations and fluidity, with animations running at a super fluid 60 FPS (this is LEGO). It looks so good.
Oh, look...a new keyboard.
Further, all installed, relevant apps will be able to launch from Google Now. This has been a feature available to a handful of apps for a while now (like IMDb, for example), but with the L release, the API is becoming available to every developer, so all apps can be incorporated into Now's search results.
If you're in the US and looking for a convenient way to get relevant World Cup video highlights sent right to your favorite device, Google has you covered. Starting today, through a partnership with ESPN, the company will begin offering video via your regular Google Now feed.
— A Googler (@google) June 25, 2014
If you recall, Google did something similar last month with NBA highlights as well.
Google's own launcher lacks many customization features you'd get with third-party options, but it has that cool Google Now panel that makes it that much easier to see your cards. Because that's part of the closed-source Google Search app, other launchers have thus far been unable to implement it. However, the newest 0613 nightlies of CyanogenMod 11 include this feature in the default Trebuchet launcher. Well, mostly.
Google's really been on a roll lately when it comes to Google Now... or at least our readers have been especially good at spotting features that we hadn't before. As the 2014 World Cup draws ever nearer, Google has added the various competing national soccer (all non-Americans, read: football) teams to the integrated sports updates already seen for most of the major league sports in the US. Now you don't need a separate app for score updates and news, unless you're the picky type who likes things like content or videos.
Google Now is seemingly getting smarter almost every week, at least that's how often we seem to run into subtle (but clever) changes. By now you probably know that with Google Now, you can set reminders for just about anything. "OK Google, remind me to call the doctor tomorrow at noon" will let you set that reminder with a single tap.
But did you know that Google Now will parse your queries for known associations with phone numbers and add a Call button automatically?
It's Saturday night. You've spent the last six hours partaking of the fruit of the vine in pleasant company (read: you're so drunk that your date is getting a contact buzz). Being the public-minded and responsible drinker you are, you elect to take the bus home. All seventeen stops. After a night out with your friends Morgan, Daniels, and Cuervo, it's difficult to stay awake on the rolling bus. You miss your stop and end up so far from home that you might as well stay on the bus and wait to get off in the morning.
One of the cool things about Google Now is that Mountain View can tweak the way information is displayed by flipping a switch on its end. No action on your part is required to make the cards better and more informative. To that end, Google has been testing an updated version of the weather card for a few weeks, and judging by the barrage of tips we're getting, it looks like it's rolling out now.