Android Central

Google Now continues to try and improve our daily lives one little step at a time, and the latest addition seems to be doing just that. Some users are reporting this card now appearing when they open up Google Now, which reports on the distances you walked and cycled in the last couple of months, with a comparison of the two. Pretty nifty, and while not quite at the same level as an actual pedometer, those of you who like to keep active will no doubt find it useful. 

How accurate it actually is -- especially for the cycling -- remains to be seen. Presumably this relies on having your location data, so turning this off should disable it if you're not too keen. Have you seen this card show up yet? Shout out in the comments below, let's see how active we all are. 

via Android Central Forums

 

Reader comments

Google slips a walking and cycling tracking card into Google Now

22 Comments

I got this card yesterday, the cycling part said 5 miles even though I haven't cycled last month.. Also, its disappeared today..

The card showed up on my Nexus 7 yesterday. I don't see how it knows if you walked, drove, or biked but I guess it's cool.

For the last two days its showing the distance walked 2 miles in last one month. But how can it tell that i walked or cycled?

Like it anyway.

One thing I would love Goolge Now to do is better public transport - if they got the main UK bus services that would be amazing. Especially if they also linked the routes to the traffic to warn about delays and stuff.

I've had it for about 3 days now, but I can't figure out how it determines the distance. Most of my walking is inside at work or at stores, so GPS would be almost useless (GPS is turned off inside anyway), and I don't know how it would account for climbing stairs.

I'm a runner, though, so maybe I'll take my phone with me and see if it comes remotely close to my Garmin GPS watch. I know it won't be nearly as accurate, unless it can also use GPS for this card, but it might give me more confidence in the numbers it's giving.

Got the card yesterday. Thought it was interesting. According to Google's help page, it uses the phones sensors to determine your movements and I guess that combined with Google location tracking, they guess it you're walking, biking, or driving.

The "Learn More" link suggests that it's based on accelerometer sampling. So, motion that is typical of walking and biking. I'm pretty sure it's completely inaccurate, particularly with the Nexus 7.

Maybe it uses the accelerometer. Walking and cycling would definitely have different motion signatures as far as the phone is concerned. Not sure how it would know how to differentiate driving from cycling though. It can't just be using speed. Cycling/Driving in the city could easily be in the same speed range for someone relatively fit.

I wonder if this explains why my battery usage went down SO much when I turned off location services...

I am using a nexus s4g since I have enabled google now my battery has not been lasting as long I have noticed that maps has been using a significant amount of my battery sometimes even more then display. As far as the walking card i got mine yesterday. I do use my tracks but not regularly so that argument is out. You can download pedometer apps that use the acceloromter to track your steps so maybe google has done something with that in conjunction with gps . As far as biking it might see the speed and type of movement from acceloromter and think it was biking, not sure about that.

Yep, it showed up yesterday on my Sprint GNex and on the Nexus 7. I have a Moto ACTV I use for cycling data, but this seems like a neat implementation. My stats were woefully underscored though: I am on my feet all day at work, in a building where I have very little to no cell coverage, and certainly no GPS link. Would be interested to hear if they are implementing wifi location data.

I got it yesterday, I was confused and pleasantly surprised at the same time, lol. So glad I flashed CM10 on my atrix 2. My next phone will be a nexus, without a doubt...

personally I find it pretty out of line since I cycled a lot father than it said I did. I know I punked down nearly 20 miles 1 days and it said I had a lot less than that.

I ride a bike to work every day, at least 12 miles if I take the bus home, 25 miles if I ride. I do not see the card at all. Hmmmmmm.

If you drill down into "Show Sample Cards" there's an "Other cards" section with a "Cards list" link that takes you to a web page with info on all of the cards, some of which are also broken out into sections (About Gmail cards, About location history card [the pedometer card], and About Stocks card).

The About location history card page says this about it:

About location history card
The Location History card appears once a month. It provides a very rough approximation of how far you've walked or cycled during that month compared to the previous one. These estimates are based on occasional samples of the accelerometer in your tablet, which are then compared to typical movements involved in walking or cycling.
This information isn't available unless you've turned on location reporting and history for at least one of your Android devices. If you've turned these on for more than one device, the location history card reflects the one you used most often that month.

The page can be found at http://support.google.com/nexus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2839503&topic...

The entire list of cards (sample images removed):

Birthdays
Displays an interesting fact about your birthdate on your birthday.

Concerts
Shown before your favorite artists give concerts near you.

Flights
Shown before flights that you've searched for.

Gmail: Event bookings
Shown before an event booking confirmed by Gmail.

Gmail: Flights
Shown before flights confirmed by Gmail.

Gmail: Hotels
Shown when you receive a confirmation email and before your scheduled checkout.

Gmail: Packages
Displayed when you receive a shipping notification for an online purchase.

Gmail: Restaurants
Shown before a restaurant reservation confirmed by Gmail.

Location history
Shown a rough approximation of how far you walked or cycled during the past month.

Movies
Shows movies playing in your vicinity, and tells you when a movie you're interested in is playing nearby.

News update
Shows updates related to news items you've read recently.

Next appointment
Shown before scheduled meetings.

Photo spot nearby
Shown when you're near a popular spot for taking photos.

Places
Shows nearby businesses and other places of potential interest.

Public alerts
Gives public advisories for your location from the National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and similar services.

Public transport
Shown with relevant schedules when you're near a bus station, train station, or other public transit stop.

Sports
Shown for teams that interest you before, during, or after a game.

Stocks
Shown periodically for stocks you're tracking. For more details, see About Stocks card.

Traffic
Shown before your usual commute times

Travel: Currency
Shows the latest currency conversion information for your location.

Travel: Nearby attractions
Shown when you're near well-known attractions, such as restaurants, museums, and cafes.

Travel: Time back home
Shown periodically when you're in a different time zone than usual.

Travel: Translate
Shown when you'retraveling in a foreign country, to help you translate words and phrases.

Weather
Periodically displays weather for home, work, or your current location.

So the distances are pretty neat, but why on earth can I only see how far I've walked or cycled in miles... Is it sea miles, imperial miles or American miles? This is probably the reason why many of the posts above report that the distances they have themselves are different from Google. PLEASE Google give me the chance to change to metric as the 'miles' term that Google uses is no use.

It already does depending on your local bus company mine with stagecoach works brilliantly but I know some bus companies don't really support it.

BUG: Distance shown in miles and not kilometers. As far as I can see there are no options to turn it on/off or change units. Not sure how it knows I'm cycling, low speed faster than a walk? What about jogging?

This feature showed up on my phone 3 times and I fell in love with it. Right now I'm trying to do some research to find out why it stopped showing up. Each month I see people posting screen shots of their distance walked. I immediately launch google now to see if it will show me my distance walked but it just stopped keeping track. I do have my GPS turned on all the time, since I play ingress very frequently so I don't know why the feature stopped or was removed.

I have not seen this card yet, but I'm pretty sure this is linked to Google maps. Whenever you want directions, you can choose how you are getting there, driving, biking, walking, or even public transportation. Based on what you choose, is how it would know if you walking or biking. I would really like to get a confirmation on this. Thanks guys.