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.
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. Update:This is live now.
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.
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 everyweek, 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.
Over the past week, Google's exposed a handful of new and useful voice-activated features on the Now app for Android. Whether it be figuring out information about your booked car rentals, setting reminders, or finally handling timer queries properly, Google really seems to want you to talk to your phone more. Our question today, though, is just how much do you talk to your phone or tablet?
Now, this a kind of hard question to answer scientifically, I know.
Google's always adding new tidbits to Google Now voice search, like that tweak to reminders we posted earlier today. According to ye olde Google Twitter account, you can also ask Google search about your rental car reservations.