Google Now

Real time package tracking from select carriers and subtle UI tweaks make it into this update

The Google Search app, better known for its transition into the Google Now interface on Jelly Bean devices, has been updated with a few more features today. The first improvement is what Google calls "real time package tracking", which should give you a better indication of the package status, rather than simple "package shipped" cards that have been there previously. The new functionality is only available for select carriers, but it isn't specified which ones at this point.

Also included is a visual redesign of the "settings" key that appears in the top right corner of every card, which has turned into an "i" (information) button. Instead of just popping up a settings option to take you deeper into the app, it expands the current card to let you toggle quick settings related to it. For example tapping the "i" on a sports score card gives you quick options to follow or not follow a team, while tapping "i" on a stocks card lets you choose which stocks you would like to always see.

It's a visual improvement that will be instantly noticeable as a better choice for managing Google Now settings. Be sure to grab the update from the Play Store at the top of this post if you've got a device running Jelly Bean.


Reader comments

Google Search update adds new card functionality, improved search results


Bluetooth capabilities for voice actions have been enabled as well in the settings, allowing you to use your headset for more than just the dialer.

@Logical Guy, going to try that out in just a few on my commute home. That has been my biggest complaint, thanks!

EDIT: after trying it out on my commute home yesterday, it appears that in the Sprint car dock, with Bluetooth headset connected, my stock EVOLTE only is able to utilize GNow about 20% of the time. I say "google" and it starts thinking but never really gets to the start speaking part all the time, one out of five, maybe. Usually it just sits there with the mic showing but not listening. Works flawlessly when I switch off my bluetooth; Texting, opening apps, just perfect. I just wish it worked better in the dock, with bluetooth on :/

Thank you for stating obvious. i guess all the tests that were done between google now and siri by countless tech sites didnt already show that.

No need to be a jerk about it. Maybe he's never used GNow before. Maybe everyone doesn't take what's spoonfed to them by countless tech sites. Maybe he's expressing his opinion.

It's a setting S-Voice options. I've never had an S3, only played with friend's versions, but I think it takes turning S-Voice off, but it might have just been a priority setting. Sorry for not remembering the specifics.

In the previous version, the "Listen to [artist/album/song]" voice command was broken, retrieving only a youtube card rather than the music player. With this update, the command seems to be gone completely. It would be nice to have it back.

You are right. My ICS phone was able to play any song I wanted using Spotify just by saying listen to....
Then you were able to listen to just a band or a singer, and now that functionality is completely gone. Bad google, bad

i noticed that the top image of Google Search is Seattle on this post. Do the image change depending on location or there's a way i can customize it?

The background changes based on your location and time of day. It also changes to reflect when there is a Google Doodle on their homepage.

Anyone having an issue with locations? It suggested a new one for me and I can't add it or ignore it. Just kinda stays there.

And what's the point of the info pane next to sports teams? If I've already set my team, why is it asking me if I want to follow them again?

What the Title of this article SHOULD be is:

"Google Search update replaces useful voice commands with less useful card functionality, improved search results"