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.
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.
It's hard not to be excited about the future of Google Now. It's already an incredibly powerful tool, on its way to being a do-anything personal assistant, and we've heard tell of even more functionality from bill pay reminders to inferred events entries to contact-based reminders.
Today, though, we've heard about something that many have asked for from Google Now for a long time now - actual timer functionality. Search may not be getting its own built-in timer, but it won't be side-stepping your request to set an alarm, either.
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Pandora's Android client gets a small update today. The first new feature is something that everyone can use: a sleep timer. In the main station view, tap the Menu icon to find the new "Sleep timer" entry. Tap it, then choose between 15, 30, or 60 minutes. After the set time Pandora will cut off, letting you drift into the arms of Morpheus without killing your battery.
The developers have also added support for the NissanConnect system, which allows the app to be controlled with the dash-mounted touchscreen or media buttons on some late-model Nissan vehicles. The 2013 Altima, Titan, Xterra, Frontier, Sentra, and the 2014 Altima and Versa with the optional NissanConnect packages should be able to control playback through the Apps menu.
Alarm clock apps are not usually described as lovely, but this one is. Scratch that – Timely is devastatingly beautiful. The numbers morph gracefully from one to the next, there are a ton of themes, and the subtle movement in the background looks great. It's not just a pretty face, though. Timely has some really useful features.
Timely uses an interesting tap-and-drag gesture to set alarm times. If you prefer to use Google Now voice input, Timely works with that too. There are a ton of options for each alarm, including a large collection of sounds. For the stubborn types, Timely can be set to use a math problem or pattern challenge to wake you up before it shuts up.
KF Software House recently introduced a solution for the more time-constrained Android users among us, releasing App Timer Mini to the Android Market. App Timer Mini (ATM) does exactly what you may expect after reading its name. The app allows users to observe and track how long they spend using certain apps by placing a handy timer in the corner of your screen.
App Timer Mini's functionality is just as simple as it should be – users can select apps to be monitored, and customize the timer's aesthetics. When activated, ATM will automatically show a tiny timer in the corner of your screen when your selected apps are running.