Using Google Now Like a Pro

Most Android usersgoogle-now-thumb I know admit they aren’t using their smart phones to near the potential they could. Well, as a pretty active Android user, I thought I would let you in on some of the coolness that you can do with Google Now. Most of the newer devices have it installed. If not, you can download the Google Search app to get Google Now.

Google Now is like a concierge built into Google Search for Android. You can ask Google Now to do various tasks for you. Tasks can range from setting an alarm, sending a SMS to someone or many other useful things. I am sure you can think of some reasons why you may want to complete tasks with your voice.

google-now-walkthrough

Google Now  has several different parts to it. As I mentioned, it is part of Google Search so the Google Search widget is a good place for us to start. Most devices have the Google Search widget on your homescreen. To start using Google Now, press the microphone icon in the widget.

google-now-activate

Now, you have a couple of choices here. First press the music note at the bottom right of the box. This will listen for music being played nearby and tells you the artist and song. Also, you can quickly buy the song from Google Play Store.

google-now-music

After you’ve tried that, let’s move on to the other cool things you can do. Press the microphone on the Google Search widget again. This time, scroll down a little. If you haven’t used Google Now until now, you can see a list of a lot of actions it can perform for you. You may have seen the older Google commercials where people were asking their Google Nexus questions. This is one of the options.

So is saying things like, “Remind me to pick up milk at 5PM.” Or Send a text to Chad saying “Let’s meet for lunch today.”

google-now-speak

Here is a quick list of possible tasks.

  • Send SMS.
  • Ask Google a question.
  • Make a phone call.
  • Ask for directions.
  • Set alarms.
  • Set reminders.
  • Make calendar appointments.
  • Navigate to a web page.
  • Play music or other media in your Google Play account.

Another part of Google Now is the information cards. The cards show timely information about things you are interested in. Also, the more you use your phone and Google Search, the more detailed the cards will get. Some things to start on are your favorite sports team schedule. I am a soccer fan and follow the Portland Timbers in the MLS. I have my Google Now setup to show a card when they have an upcoming game.

google-now-sports-card

Other cards will show things like your flight information and if the flight is on time or not. If you let Google Now know important places or have addresses on your Google Calendar appointments, you will be notified of the time it should take you to get there from your current location and how the traffic is on the preferred route.

google-now-directions

For people who travel, there is a card showing nearby events. This is really handy if you are looking for something to do while on a business trip or vacation or if you are just bored on a Saturday afternoon.

Weather is another card. Depending on the device, you will have different options here. Generally, you will see the temperature, humidity, potential for precipitation and the forecast for the next few days. You can set your home location to always show. You can also see the weather for your current location for when you are away from your home location.

What I like about using Google Now for Notes is you are not limited to using Google Keep to store notes. You can set the default note app to be whatever you use a lot. For example, you can use Evernote to store the notes you speak into Google Now .

google-now-note

This makes it easier for you to integrate Google Now and voice actions into your daily routine.

Are you using your Android to its full potential? What are your thoughts on Google Now and using voice inputting your commands?