For months a small subset of Android users have been seeing a new dual-tabbed interface in the official Google search app's UI. The second tab, initially labelled "Dashboard" and then changed to an icon-only "Upcoming," is now official. Google announced the big change on its Keyword search blog, revealing that the feature should roll out to all Android users starting now, with the iOS version of the Search app following suit later. Read More
Google Now continues to get better and better (hands up if you're looking forward to Google Assistant) so it's only natural yet more features and improvements are being added for the predictive search facilities. A tipster has sent us four screenshots showing 'Explore Interests,' which appears to be a new way to add things you're interested in for Google to track and update you on. Read More
One might assume that anyone who's enthusiastic enough to enable Google Now On Tap, the contextual search engine that uses screenshots and optical character recognition, would also want access to Google Now cards, which depend more on location, time, and search history. But you know what they say about making assumptions. Previously Now On Tap did indeed depend on the more vanilla Google Now, or at least was linked to it, but the latest version of the Google search app for Android seems to have reduced the interdependency of these two tools. Read More
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
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