Google Now

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Google Now is picking up an update today with a few new features to improve your search and predictive information experience. First up is a new "hotword" that can be detected  — "OK, Google" can now be said to initiate a voice search if you're in the US, although the regular old "Google" still seems to work just fine for us.

Once you've performed a search, if it happens to be for information on a "notable person" Google will offer you the ability to have new cards show up in Google Now for updates on that person. There's no indication of what makes a person notable, but we found searching some regular famous musicians and celebrities yielded the desired result.

Google also says that "more beautiful search results" are rolling out gradually, but you can get the two aforementioned features with an update to the latest version of Google Search at the Play Store link above.

 

Reader comments

Google Now adds 'OK, Google' hotwording, reminders for notable people

43 Comments

Someday I hope they update to allow "set countdown timer for x minutes..." and have it actually use the timer, not the alarm clock

It'll probably come in the next major OS update when everything's getting overhauled again. When Google Now was introduced, Android didn't have a timer. The funny thing is that Google Search itself has a countdown timer (type set timer for [duration] [units] into the search box on a desktop).

Well of course, but the Moto X can already use "OK, Google Now" and use it from anywhere in the system. On every other phone you still need to be in the Google Search app to use the hotwording.

The touchless control hotword will remain as "Okay, Google Now" but when in the app itself the hotword will now be "Ok Google" rather than just "Google".

I know Google really likes to have things US only, but the "OK, Google" thing seems a little ridiculous.

The new cards look nice, but are huge!

Posted via Android Central App

They probably have it because the 'OK Google' is less likely to be said in a normal conversation, thus reducing the chance of a false positive.

Maybe I didn't know any better but I've been saying "Okay Google" for a while now and it's been working???

Sent from my Motorola side view pager 4-5683-968

Because the hotword was just "Google". When you say "Okay, Google" it hears you say Google and activates. In fact, if you were to say anything that sounded like Google, even amidst a sentence, it would activate. With the new hotword it's more deliberate and should have less misfires.

On my phone just "Google" wouldn't work since the last update.
Ok Google works now.
HTC ONE X, international.

Still don't think I want my phone "Auto-Stalking" anybody.

It's hotword comes in an update to the language pack rather than the app itself. Each language will need to be updated individually.

I have removed the icon that goes to all my apps the circle with all the 4 squares in it and now I can't view all my apps how do I fix this? Plz help

Posted via Android Central App

Long press on the screen to add widgets. Add the widget called"apps" and from the sub menu choose the app that opens your app drawer.

Edit: just realized this has changed a bit. In using a custom launcher and my option is hidden in 'nova settings' instead. Still get there by long press on the home screen though

Find a blank space on a home screen. Long press to add an item, and add the app drawer to the homescreen (Details on how to pick "app drawer" as what you're adding will depend on your launcher, but it's there. In Nova Launcher it's under "Nova Actions").

Now long press on that icon, and drag it to your dock.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I don't think they changed anything with the hotword. It's still ultimately is looking for the word "Google" which means you could have said "OK Google" to begin with (as someone already mentioned had been working for them in the past). Not sure why Google feel's the need to play this up as a new feature. Honestly I'd like to be able to customize the hotword. Talking to a brand name takes away from the experience for me, although I'll of course take it over not having one.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I don't think they changed anything with the hotword. It's still ultimately looking for the word "Google" which means you could have said "OK Google" to begin with (as someone already mentioned had been working for them in the past). Not sure why Google feel's the need to play this up as a new feature. Honestly I'd like to be able to customize the hotword. Talking to a brand name takes away from the experience for me, although I'll of course take it over not having one.

You didn't update your language pack. "Google" only doesn't work anymore. You have to say "Ok Google" now. If it doesn't say "Search, or say OK Google" in your search bar then you don't have the latest update or didn't update your US English offline language pack in the Search Settings.

I just tested it, saying Google only, 100% doens't work anymore. Check your search bar, if it says "say OK Google" then you are up to date. If it still says "say Google" then you are not up to date and saying "Google" or "Ok Google" will both work as it is only looking for you to say Google.

When on a non-moto x does a person use a hot word? I had a non-moto x android for a couple of weeks, don't you just push the mic button and start talking?

I liked how it was before.. The article states that "Google" AND "Ok Google" work, but on my phone now I can only say "Ok Google"...

I used to love JUST saying "Google" "Find etc..."

Technically, "Okay Google" used to work before the update. In fact, "Hey Google," "Yo Google," "Search Google," etc all worked because it was always listening for "Google." Or would even launch if you had Search open and told someone "I'll Google it" (as I have had happen time and time again).

Posted via Android Central App on my Galaxy Nexus