If you have purchased an Android device recently, then chances are that you already have the Google Now app pre-installed. Apparently Google Now is an answer to iPhone’s Siri app. It is quite versatile and accurate. Google Now is capable of using natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of web services. The app represents the Android platforms coming of age, now the Android devices can act by themselves without any directions from the user. Google Now is currently available on Android 4.1, Jelly Bean.
For getting maximum benefits out of Google Now, you have to feed it all the information that the app needs. This means, your privacy is completely in the hands of Google Now. If you are comfortable with that, then this app can make your life easy by supplying information in a timely manner. You can have helpful cards with information even before you ask for them. Along with answering user-initiated queries, Google Now can also deliver information that it predicts you will want, based on your search habits. If you don’t have Google Now, you can download it from the Google Play store. The iOS version is available in the iTunes store.
To start using the app, you have to tap on the Google Search Bar. You can also launch Google Now from your app repository. A series of frames will guide you through the set-up. Just click ‘Next’, if you find yourself in agreement. It is worth spending some time in getting the setting right before you actually start using the app. To start using Google Now, you need to go to Privacy and Accounts and tap Manage Location History and then Location Settings and make sure that Location Reporting is on, Report from this device is ticked and Enable Location History is ticked. Now go back to Settings > Privacy and Accounts and make sure that Web History is on.
The alerts come in the form of cards, slotted in to the bottom of the screen and accessed by a simple swipe of the thumb, dismissed by another swipe to the side. You have to choose the cards carefully, as you don’t want to be inundated with information that is of no value to you. You can tap Google Now All cards to choose what you want to receive cards. The Notifications Option will let you choose what kinds of cards merit a notification and how it should sound. The My Stuff Option will allow you to set your home and work locations, set your favourite sports teams, and choose stocks that you are interested in.
You get to know what Google Now is capable of after you have let it run for an extended period of time, about one to two weeks. That is the amount of time that Google Now takes for learning about your preferences. The app will keep improving, as it keeps gathering more and more information on your habits in the background. The app does not turn the GPS on to get your location, but it still is a major drain on your battery life. You can think of Google Now as an old fashioned assistant. Like Siri, the app is capable of answering your voice commands, when you ask it to perform an action, like calling someone, or launching an app, Google Now will show a loading bar, so that you have time to quit if it has misinterpreted your request.