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google now


There's a shortcut to access Assistant's daily Snapshot, but only Google can enable it for you

Assistant's daily Snapshot feed is the reincarnation of the Google Now of ol' for our modern times. It took a few years for Google to migrate and integrate most of Now's excellent functionality into Assistant, but we're finally there now. We get weather, calendar, shipping, travel, commute, reservation, and more contextual cards, and it's all customizable. We can even call it with a simple "Hey Google, show me my day." What we can't do, though, is swipe right on the homescreen to get to it — that functionality has been monopolized by the Discover articles and ads. But Google has implemented another faster way to get to Snapshot.

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OnePlus 6T Google Discover (formerly Feed) option exclusive to T-Mobile model — for now

OnePlus has been surprisingly hesitant to illuminate the precise differences between the T-Mobile and unlocked versions of its phones, but gradually the distinctions are coming to light. Recently, it was revealed to us that the T-Mobile version replaces the OnePlus Launcher's "Shelf" functionality with the popular Google Now Feed Discover, and OnePlus remains tight-lipped as to whether the feature is coming to other phones, though it admits only the T-Mobile version has it for now.

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Google Assistant is the new home for Now's old contextual cards

Long ago, before Google Now turned into the Feed, Google used to provide you with an easily accessible summary of custom tailored, account-scraped stuff, useful for keeping track of various deadlines or ongoing details. In that transition to Feed, though, the information was relegated to a new "Upcoming" tab in the Google app, and the personal overview started to stagnate a bit. Well, Google's bringing it all back better than ever via the Assistant. 

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Google app kills the last remnants of Voice Search, completely switches to Assistant (Updated)

Google Voice Search is dead. Cue in somber music.

For many years before Google Assistant was a thing, Android had a microphone you could trigger to perform actions. It had actions such as calls, texts, emails, music back in 2010, more than 10 languages supported way back in 2012, introduced nicknames and relationships such as "mom" and "husband" in 2014, and had multilingual support also in 2014. But then Assistant was introduced and Google started slowly transitioning things over from Voice Search.

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[Update: Regional availability] Music recognition in Google Assistant no longer exclusive to Pixel 2, now works on more devices

Just about a month ago, the "what's this song" music identification functionality started to roll out to Assistant on both of the new Pixel 2 phones. Google's voice search (for instance, via "Google Now") had this functionality for a long time, but for whatever reason, the transition to the new Assistant stripped that feature away. Although it was back for the Pixel 2, it appears that music recognition in the Assistant is now rolling out to non-Google devices as well. 

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[Update: There's an easier way] Tip: You can edit the shortcuts at the top of the Google Feed, sort of

Google has been toying with changes to the Google Feed in its eponymous app all year, seemingly settling on a translucent look when you swipe right from your launcher home screen, or the three-tab interface in the full app. Google may still be testing different options, so yours may not be the same as mine, but I find it a lot worse than what I had before, especially as I can't swipe away cards to dismiss them anymore.

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Google is rolling out the tabbed Google app interface to more users

It's been a long road, getting from there to here. Google announced at the end of 2016 that it would start rolling out a tabbed interface in the Google app - one tab for your feed (previously known as Google Now), and the other for reminders/emails/etc. But then Google only enabled it for a small amount of users, and left it at that for a few months. Then a third tab was added, and even more users received the changed interface.

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[Update: Rolling to more users] Google is testing a new three tab interface for the Google app

If you're one of those who has yet to even see the two-tab interface, you'll be surprised to hear that Google is already testing out a third tab. Reports indicate that the new button performs a search. The tab might be a bit redundant, given the search bar already present at the top of the page, but perhaps scrolling to the top was a bit too inconvenient for some.

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Google Feed now displays Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) links

Back in February of last year, Google unveiled Accelerated Mobile Pages - or AMP, for short. In a nutshell, sites can choose to generate AMP versions of their pages (with an automated tool or site plugin), which load extremely quick compared to normal sites. This is due to various restrictions, compression on the included images/video, and caching by Google's own servers.

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Google is testing a translucent Google Feed page on the Pixel Launcher

Google has been tweaking the Google Feed (previously known as Google Now) page quite a bit recently. They started rolling out a dual-tabbed interface in December, but seemingly stopped shortly after. Last month, a new transparent Google Now pane appeared for one user, and now a modified version has showed up.

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