Android Central

Since its launch alongside Android 4.1 Jelly Bean back at Google IO in the summer, Google Now has become an intriguing, and in some cases integral part of every day life. Android nerds aren't the only ones to take a shine to the service either it seems, with Popular Science naming it as the Innovation of the Year. 

Make no mistake, this is an impressive accolade to receive. Google Now finds itself among such distinguished company as the digital camera, the Large Hadron Collider and follows on as the second Google service to receive the honor after Google Maps.  

In naming Google Now as the winner, Popular Science editor-in-chief, Jacob Ward, even took a slight swipe at Apple's Siri in the process:

Voice interfaces like Siri seem outdated by comparison. With Google Now, you don’t pull the phone out when an idea occurs to you. You pull it out when an idea occurs to it.

Google Now is still in the early days, and as promised at Google IO during the unveiling, we're expecting to see much more from it as time goes on. To see more, click on past the break for a video on the award, starring Jacob Ward. 

Source: Popular Science via Phonearena


Reader comments

Popular Science picks Google Now as the Innovation of the Year


And it should have. The darn thing alerts me as to when I should leave where I am if I have to go somewhere for an event I set up in calendar. I think it's even leveraging traffic info for the travel time. Hasn't been wrong yet. And I love asking it weird questions, like what is the speed of light in different units. Awesome.

Just the traffic feature alone is pretty amazing. It usually knows when I'm usually going to school (about 35 miles away), and there have been times when I've woken up, seen an Alert in my status bar. The alert it gives tells me if there is a delay (and how many minutes' delay) along my route. This is rather useful because it means I can rush to make it in time.

I know google now also alerts people of extreme weather and such.

Useful features like these would make it indisposable. Rather than an assistant that answers you like Siri (and rather sarcastically), you get one that is pro-active.

This app is so freaken smart it's scary. It knows when I leave for work, where and when I go to lunch, when, who and where my NE Patriots are playing. Damn I love it.
PS, not sure if I am correct but I understand Google Now is also an app on the I-Phone. If that is true it just isn't right.
Thank You Google and Android.

They got Voice Search but we have the exclusive on Google Now (the interface that gathers your Google services' data and presents it to you when necessary.)

Congrats to Google! Google Now is amazing stuff, a REAL "personal assistant" as opposed to Siri. And it is only getting started, it will only improve over time.

Re fightcrazy: Google Now is the card system and that is only available on Android. What Google released for iOS is Google Voice Search.

Living in SoCal and travelling around Los Angeles, just the traffic alerts alone make this worth this award. Add getting restaurant info, community data and the ability to ask it anything, you have a real-world, useful tool to make your day easier. Good job Big G!

I just got a note2 after having an iphone. I was shocked by the traffic report i got today at work. It was part scary and part awesome. I had no idea that it did that.

You forgetting whats Google Now is :p It's that feature that gives you information that you need in this moment based on information in phone. Anwsering quastions in Voice Search it's called Knowledge Graph which is feature of Google Search and it was there before it been implemented to Android

I have to be doing something wrong then. I have EVERYTHING enabled in the Google Now settings and use it for every single search I do, even if I'm browsing in Dolphin I'll switch back to Google Now. I have Google Now on my phone and Nexus 7 so I use it like 20 times a day.

The ONLY cards I get in Google Now:
1. a traffic card for a way to work I NEVER GO AND HAVE TRAVELED ONLY ONE TIME IN THE 6 YEARS I'VE WORKED THERE because it's 4 miles and 15 minutes longer than the way I go everyday..
2. today's weather
3. calendar reminders
4. scores to the Bucs or Jags game after the game
5. cards for map searches I do, but for some reason it only shows the first 3 map searches I did when I got my Nexus 7 and it only shows those cards on a random basis. it will NOT show map cards for recent searches

I get NO other cards.

I fail to see how something so useless can get innovation of the year.

Yeah, I just checked it again. I think everyone is lying when they say Google Now is super useful.

Aside from the great voice recognition (which is Android in general not just Google Now) it really is quite useless.

Alright if you find Google Now useless it's because you don't use it for
1. Flights
2. Public transit
3. Nearby Places
4. Public Alerts
5. Movies
6. Stocks
7. News update
8. Photo Spot Nearby
9. Concerts

You probably don't use it for
11.Hotel Confirmations
12.Event Bookings
in gmail either.

I haven't used all these features myself but I know they are available for me when I need them.

I`ll leave comment when my SGS3 on Sprint get the JB update yet, until than, Google now it`s useless to me for now and it`s good for others... I`m using S-Voice which it`s rally doing the job for now. Please everyone wish me good luck, may be I`ll get the update.

You don't have to root or wait for weeks. Follow these steps;
1. Go to Application Manager >> All
2. Click on Google Services Framework
3. Clear Data and Exit
4. Go to Settings >> System Update
5. Update Samsung Software

That's it! Your Sprint Galaxy S3 will start upgrading to Jelly Beans. Good luck.

Google Now seems to have exactly one card that's useful for me - weather. And I have a widget that does that better.
Of the other cards that are supposedly available, only the travel related ones can be of potential use, but since I'm not globetrotting on a weekly basis their usefulness could sometimes be months apart.

So without those cards Google Now is pretty much just a search interface with an often annoying slowdown in typing input while it tries to predict search words, and a voice option that understands me correctly around 20% of the time on a good day (I'm fluent in English, but obviously my accent or other areas of pronunciation is causing it trouble, as it does for any voice system I've tried).

It's one thing if you don't get much use out of it but I believe it'd be fair if perhaps one would judge the software based on its full list of capabilities and features.

Google Now's search is FAST and accurate. The expanding cards are absolutely brilliant and how it predicts my home, work, and rehearsals, tracks packages and suggests things based on my Google search. It really all comes together. Could I live with out? Easily. Does it go beyond the gimmick and into the line of actually being helpful, that it does.


I truly believe everyone is lying when they say that.

What does it do? Does it show you a bunch of cards for recently searched stuff when you open it?

kombatkarl: Seeing as it had been in production for over a year at the time of release, and they are still adding to it I doubt anything Apple releases will work as well and have as many features, for example look at their maps app.