Google Now is really showing itself to be a solid contender, and even better in some ways, than what many have grown to understand as a niche all but controlled by Apple’s Siri. Since it was released in full Google Now has proven to outstrip it’s previous voice-based search predecessor and competition in Siri in many ways. As always, Google is always adding to and tweaking their software to get the best functionality and longevity possible. Google Now seems to be part of what they’re hinging their prospects on. Integrated completely now with Android and starting to show up in the desktop versions of their Chrome Browser, soon you will be able to find Now in all things Google.
One of the ways that Now is growing is it’s ability to take the large amount of information that it stores to help you remember some upcoming events, even ones that wouldn’t normally be included in your daily calendar. If you have a membership to a website that is set to auto-renew each month, Google Now can remind you to cancel that membership if you need it to. A simple reminder to cancel, for example, Netflix can turn from an entry on your reminders list to a full functional entry in your calendar that will allow Google to link you to the proper places to cancel whatever it is that you needed turned off.
When Google Now first appeared on the scene, activating the app before it’s use was required, much like the Home button press to turn on Siri on an Apple device. Google has released the ability to listen for specific keywords at all times, though it will only activate and search what is requested upon being acknowledged by saying “Ok Google” and then telling it what it is you need it to do. The Google Now function is widespread in versions of Android that it’s supported on, though often it can be limited by the device that it being used. Google, however, is looking to push Google Now to all ends of their Android enabled devices.
Beyond the obvious, and not so obvious, ways that Google Now proves itself to be useful, Google has included a lot of fun and funny little Easter Eggs into the app, as they nearly always do. I’m not going to outline exactly what these commands do, but feel free to play around with them and see just how Google’s often quirky sense of humor has found it’s way into their software.
“Beam me up, Scotty!”
“Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right” which is the famous Konami Code, and see what Google has to say.
“Do a barrel roll!” in classic Starfox style!
Instead of saying Okay, Google, try “Okay, Jarvis” in your best Tony Stark impression. (Iron Man armor optional.)
Play around with Google Now and see what else you can find. And feel free to post your favorite voice commands here in the comments. You never know what you’re going to come across and we’d all love to hear about your finds!