September 1, 2014

Living With Google: Google Now

Google Now

It seems not a day goes by that we don’t discover some new way to use our Android device. It’s portable, powerful, and full of amazing software. My smartphone is a daily tool that I could not live without. Google has made this more of a need for me than a “want”. More and more as Google services are updated with new features the smartphone in my pocket becomes a necessary accessory like car keys and clothes.

My daily use of Google consist of key programs like Gmail, Google Photos, Hangouts, YouTube, Maps, Keep, and Google Now. Google Now seems to be the key driver in putting everything I need to know in a one stop shop.

From the moment I wake up Google is already telling me about my drive to work, suggesting articles I should read, and letting me know what the score of that late night game I missed.

Google Now integrated with Search and the other applications seems to get almost eerie knowing what you want to see and or watch of course you only let Google know by choice. Allowing the application to know where you work, live, and what you enjoy gives it the ability to make suggestions based on you the user. It also allows you to have a concierge, of sorts, in your pocket.

Need to know the score of the latest baseball game?  Google is there for you. How about how tall that roller coaster is? Maybe you’re arguing about how old Morgan Freeman is. Google has an answer for all of that stuff. Measurements, weights, definitions, times, info on the city your visiting – it’s all there by clicking the mic on the search bar. (OK Google for the Nexus and Motorola users.)

googleNowEmbiggened

How do you use this service you may ask? First set up a Google account then most new phones with 4.1 or higher already have it native. Find the app called search and say Yes I’m In and your up and running. If the app is not already on your phone you can find it in the Play Store named Google Search. At first there will be little information like weather and some local attraction but the more you use it the more It knows you the user. For more info visit the Google Now page for a list of commands and uses.

Once you are up and running with Google Now you will start to notice Google pop up in your notification bar from time to time. One of the first to show is time to work giving you an estimated drive time to work it even alerts you if there is an accident and suggest a different route. The more you use Google the more it suggest articles and things to do tuned to you.

The biggest feature of Google Now is the Search commands. Ask Google “What time is it in Memphis” and it will respond. Ask you favorite team and Google will show the last score and a list of news relating to the team. The more you ask about you favorite team Google Now will eventually start showing scores in you notification bar no more checking the web for the score from last night.

There is a large list of commands for Google Now and Google ads and or subtracts these commands on a very regular basis. For Nexus and Motorola users all you have to do is say “OK Google” followed by the command. For other users you will have to open the app by touching the microphone key.

GoogleNow3

A FEW EXAMPLES OF HOW I USE GOOGLE NOW ON A DAILY BASIS

In the morning before I even touch my phone Google Now is showing me an estimated time to work if there is a wreck it gives me alternate routes. On the drive in I tell Google what I want to listen to “OK Google listen to Haste the Day”; this one always wakes me up.

Throughout the day I regularly ask Google random questions like “whats the weather like today?” or “How old is ____?”. During lunch I tell Google to find places to eat for a list that I can choose from. If I have a package en route Google Now shows me a status of shipping. If I need to call a business I say “OK Google call Sprint” and Google will give me a list of Sprint stores near by.

At night, Google Now is a great tool to use for information. Google seems to know exactly what you want to read, what scores you want to see, and what you want to watch on TV. Want to know more information on the movie you watching say “OK Google Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and instantly it gives you a list of actors and other information including a Google search of the movie. Click on Johnny Depp and a short list of information and all his movies appear in front. When I want to eat I ask Google for recipes and a list of different choices are presented. All this, and more, is tailored to me; the capabilities are expanding every week, it seems. Google seems to have hit the nail on the head when it comes to a personal assistant that understands what you want.

LIVING WITH GOOGLE is an ongoing series of articles dedicated to highlighting the many ways in which Google can help better our lives. With innumerable apps and services to choose from, our aim is to educate readers on the ways in which we use them.

Google Now, Google Search