Hi Google, it's me Rita. I believe we've met before. Somewhere between Gmail, Google Photos, and Chrome, you must know a lot about me. Things I might not want others to discover, so hushhhh. (There are thousands of people reading us, let's not tell them about my love for Winnie The Pooh.) But our relationship doesn't feel equal; I barely have any information about you. Your new guy, this Assistant you've sent here to talk to me, I'd like to get to know him better. He looks a lot like the other guys you've sent before, Now and On Tap, but he seems special. Read More
Version 6.5.26 of the beta Google Search app rolled out last night, and while at first the changes seemed minimal, we're seeing one thing this morning that is of particular interest: all references to Google Now have been removed. Google Now cards have been renamed to "Feed," and Now On Tap (as some of you told us) is now referred to as "Screen search." Given Google assistant's forthcoming launch, this isn't exactly surprising. Read More
JBL makes some killer portable speakers and I'm a big fan of its affordable, stylish, and stellar sounding product lineup. This morning, JBL announced that its latest generation of products is getting even a little better. As of today, JBL's current gen speakers will support Google Now voice integration.
The Flip 3, Charge 3, Xtreme, and Pulse 2 are all compatible with the new update (sorry Clip 2 owners, no support for you). To add the feature, all you need to do is download or update the JBL Connect app on your Android device. Once updated, simply long press the play/pause button on your speaker, wait for the ping, and then state your command. Read More
Google is always trying something new with its different apps. Our personal nightmare is YouTube — ask Cody, trying to monitor the dozens of tips we get each week about a new YouTube UI are his personal nightmare. But Google Now might be an exception. The app's stream of cards has looked the same for a while and it's rather consistent between users. Not anymore.
The server-side switch plague has claimed another victim. Some users are seeing a series of blue circle icons on top of their Google Now stream for weather, dining, movies, and shopping. Others, like me, are not.
The icons don't do anything beside launch a search — and thus trigger smart cards and results — for their respective purposes. They're basically glorified search shortcuts, or maybe big hints for those who don't know what exactly you can search for on Google Now. Read More
Google Now has a tendency to add voice commands without most people noticing. Besides the few listed in-app, Google hides most of its commands, perhaps the most useful ones. For example, Google's voice actions have been integrated and implemented within YouTube, so you can control video playback with your mi... wait, no that's the next update.
To get started, just start playing any video in the YouTube app. Then you can use any of these voice commands, triggered by the "OK Google" keyword, provided you have enabled its detection from any screen:
- "Pause" - Pauses the video.
- "Play" - Resumes the video.
Google makes frequent changes to the New Tab Page in Chrome, and they show up first in Chrome Dev. It looks like Google is toying with a New Tab Page powered by Google Now, and you can take a look at it right now in Chrome Dev. You might need to toggle a flag, but it seems to be live for everyone. It also works a little bit in Chrome Beta, but not at all in stable. Read More
With Google Assistant not that far off, it seems Google is really amping up the changes to Google Now. After the 'Explore Interests' card and autocomplete improvements, plus laying the groundwork for Assistant, the next new thing is a bottom row of tabs, with 'Home' and 'Dashboard' occupying it.
While the Home tab is the expected Google Now homepage, Dashboard is new and therefore interesting. From the tips we've had on this it's pretty clear it's not really working properly yet, but what we can gather is this: it seems to only work with the Nexus Launcher, at least at the moment, and collects data from across the different Google services and pools them all in the tab. 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
Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro. 2016. Right, now that we've hit all of the ridiculous trademarks claimed by the International Olympic Committee and the cease-and-desist letters are already on their way, we can talk about Google's latest Doodles. As explained on the official Search blog, the company's latest fanciful logo reinterpretations hide a selection of minigames, all of which are rather vaguely themed after the upcoming events in Rio. Read More
We all had high hopes for Google Now on Tap, but the reality of actually using it didn't live up to the hype. There are too many instances where Google Now on Tap simply misses key words or phrases, or just brings up that sad "nothing on tap right now" card. Google is testing a new feature of Now on Tap that might make it vastly more useful. Some users are seeing standard Google Now cards in Now on Tap. Read More