Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.
A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary. Read More
The Google App's version 5.10 update rolled out to the beta channel yesterday with a new waiting animation, but one change that was lurking behind is the option to open links from search results and Now cards in Chrome Custom Tabs instead of redirecting to the full Chrome browser (or your other default browser).
The option was first discovered by Cody in the APK teardown of version 5.5, but it appears to have just been activated now in the app. But, as with all things Google, there are a few asterisks attached to when it does and doesn't work. I have a Nexus 5X (Marshmallow 6.0.1) and an LG G4 (Lollipop 5.1), both running the Google App 5.10.23 and an old version of Play Services 8.4.89. Read More
If you're an American and you've heard the tongue-twisting country music ballad "I've Been Everywhere," odds are that you've heard the most popular version from Johnny Cash, or perhaps the earlier version by the unequaled Hank Snow. There have been dozens of adaptations of the song, for everywhere from Texas to Singapore. But the original was written by Geoff Mack way back in 1959 and popularized by Lucky Starr, and the first set of lyrics was exclusively tailored to cities, towns, and regions in Australia. The song featured such multi-syllabic municipalities as Megalong, Tamborine, Woodenbong, and Grong Grong. Read More
When Google thinks it knows something you might be interested in, like a middle schooler at lunch time, it has to get this information off its chest. Usually this comes in the form of a Google Now notification.
These are marked by blue icons containing a symbol that indicate what type of information you're about to read, such as a cloud for weather or a soccer ball for sports. Now these images have badges with Google's logo. Read More
I've always been intrigued by Yoga but I never really got into it or figured how to do it. Now might be the time to actually get started, or at least be a little less terrified of getting started with it, thanks to these new Google cards.
When you search for any Yoga pose, whether using the Sanskrit name (like Adho Mukha Svanasana) or the English one (which is Downward Dog), Google will serve you a little detailed information without you even having to go comb through different sites to find it. You get several images showing the pose, a description with the multiple names it's known as in different languages, the muscles it strengthens, and the pose type. Read More
Google's weather card that shows up when you scroll through Google Now or search for the weather in a certain city is adequately functional. It's white with most text in grey, clickable days, an interactive timeline, and some minimalistic icons in grey, yellow, and blue. What you see above and below is definitely not that card. It seems to be a new design that Google is testing with plenty of modifications, both in looks and functionality.
The new card now expands to fill the entire screen and somewhat transform into a full-fledged weather app. Three tabs let you switch between views for Today, Tomorrow, and the next 10Days. Read More
Google Now is genius... most of the time. When you first enable it, it takes a couple of days to get started then it figures out where you live, work, go to the gym, and your other favorite places. Then it starts letting you know how long it'll take you to get to those places depending on the time of day and your previous history of travels to that location.
The problem with Google Now's predictions though is that sometimes they can be inaccurate from the start or take a little longer to adapt to change. Moved your home? Switched jobs? Read More
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
The Google app now has its own beta channel, and the first official version dropped last week. Of course there are a number of bug fixes and probably some fine tuning for performance, but no notable features seemed to turn up between the two releases. However, like most other updates, there are new clues about features we've yet to see. This time around, there is evidence of Chrome's Custom Tab feature coming to search results, a new event card for concert tickets, and a pair of new cards for system status toggles.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence.