Google is again adding features to its Google Now service, which displays real-time, as-you-need-it information on your Android smartphone or tablet as you need it through pop-up “cards” that display the information.
The latest additions are a TV cards feature, which gives users instant facts and data about the television shows they are watching at that very moment, as well as new cards that pop up advertising Google Offers for purchasing deals aimed at the user’s interests, according to a June 26 post on the Google Now page on Google+. The TV cards feature only works, however, with Internet-connected TV service for users in the United States at the present time.
“If you have an Internet-connected TV, Google Now can help unlock more information about what you’re watching,” according to the post. “Just connect your Android device to the same network that your TV is on and tap ‘Listen for a TV show’ in Google Now.
“We will show you information, like where you’ve seen an actor in the cast before, or more information about the people mentioned in the show,” the post continued. “So if you were watching Nik Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon this weekend, with Google Now, you could learn that the ‘King of the Wire’ in fact holds seven Guinness World Records, including highest bike ride on a high-wire.”
The Google Offers feature provides instant reminders for users when they are near stores that offer products they are interested in purchasing through saved offers they have stored on their devices. “Google Now will pull up the offer so you can use it quickly and easily.”
Both new features are in the latest updated Google Search for Android app, which is now available free on Google Play. The app is compatible with devices that run Android Jelly Bean 4.1 or later versions. Google Now also has a version for Apple iPhones and iPads, but these new features are not yet available for those users.
Also available in the new Android app is a new voice action capability to allow users to play music from their phone or from the Play Store using voice commands.
In April, Google unveiled its Google Now app for iPhone and iPad for the first time as part of a Google Search app for iOS.
Google Now, which was introduced for Android devices by Google in June 2012, presents its information through a series of flip-through “cards” that are visible on the screen of a device, providing a different piece of information on each card. The “cards” appear at the moment they are needed by users, such as the train schedule card appearing when they are heading to the local train station.
Google Now for Android Gets TV Information, Shopping Offer Deals
Users of Google Now set their own preferences for what information cards appear on their mobile devices. So far, more than 30 cards are available for Android users to receive instant updates about public transportation, flight information, traffic reports, sports scores, appointments, weather, hotels, events, restaurant reservations and more.
The iOS version of Google Now continues to lack some of the cards provided in the Android version.
The service is not yet live, but its appearance in the beta build could indicate that Google is looking at expanding its use to the desktop. For desktop computer users, Google Now could deliver an experience that brings real-time information on a variety of things, such as news, weather, sports and more.
A useful setup guide for installing and organizing Google Now on your devices is available through Android Authority.
In December 2012, Google Now received a host of other intriguing improvements aimed at making holiday travel easier and less stressful, including the availability of instant, up-to-date travel information before users even head to the airport, train station or bus terminal.
Google Now also brings travelers helpful information on the weather and things to do in their destination city as they travel.
Once travelers are at their destination, Google Now can display options for things to do in the new location, including information on local events near users, as well as suggestions for Websites to explore the events and to get more information on museums, culture and more.
In February, Google Now for Android added several updates, including the ability for users to get instant movie ratings before heading to a local theater, while also being able to receive their tickets right on the screen of their device. Also added was the instant availability of listings for houses and condos for sale in local neighborhoods, making it easier for homebuyers to find the place that’s right for them.