// Google Now
Learn more about Google Now, and how you can use it to organize your life.
Google Now is always there in your phone, and could be a great help -- if only you knew how to use it. It's not particularly difficult to use, but it does require some getting used to. Here's a guide to help you get acquainted with your new best friend.
1. WHAT IS GOOGLE NOW?
Google Now is an intelligent virtual assistant embedded into Google Search, within the Android mobile operating system. It gathers information (from your search history, mails that you receive, etc.) discretely, and makes smart predictions of what information you'd need, before you ask for it. These predictions or “suggestions” are displayed as cards within Google Now, and are small snippets of information one can consume in seconds.
For example, when it senses that it's time for you to get to work, Google Now will inform you, via a traffic card, of how long it takes to get to work, based on where you live, where you work, and the day's traffic information. You can then use all this information to help plan and organize your day more efficiently. You're also able to utilize Google Now to fetch localized information, which is exceptionally handy when traveling to foreign cities.
2. VOICE SEARCH
You can still search using text, but Google now supports voice search, which is much more convenient. Users with devices running the latest Android 4.4 software (a.k.a. Kit Kat) are now able to search simply by uttering “Ok Google” to their Android device in Google Now. If you're not running Kit Kat, don't worry; hit the microphone icon at the right hand corner of the search bar to start searching.
These commands can be spoken any way you'd like, but it'll be much less confusing if you ask it a question like you would to another person. To avoid confusing Google Now, you can simply say the key words in your query. Take note however, that Google Now only recognizes a handful of languages including English (not Singlish, unfortunately), French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Italian for now.
Below is a list of information types you can search for, as well as examples on how to use them:
• Weather - Weather for Tokyo tomorrow
• Locations - Where is Artichoke
• Navigation - Get to Artichoke Restaurant
•Flight Status - When does SQ175 depart?
• Time - Time in Tokyo now
• Events - When is sunset in Tokyo?
• Math - Multiply 20 by 30
• Translation - Say “Prawns” in Thai
• Sports - Scores for Arsenal game
• Finance - SPH stocks today
• Conversions - Thai baht to Singapore dollars
• Images - Show me pictures of the Taj Mahal
3. VOICE ACTION COMMANDS
Besides fetching answers to your queries, Google Now also has the Voice Action Command feature that gets things done for you on your Android device. All you have to do is speak to it, and let it know exactly what you need it to do. This is a list of commands that Google Now recognizes, and how you can use them.
“Open...” - Opening Apps
You can get Google Now to open any app in your Android device, simply by say “open” followed by app name. For example, saying “Open Gmail” opens up the Gmail app.
“Create calendar event...” - Calendar entry
Follow up on the command with the type of event, date and time (example: Dinner in Chinatown, Monday at 8pm), and Google Now will be smart enough to separate the data and into the appropriate fields.
“Note to self...” - Taking notes
The “note to self” command will record the text that comes after, and save the note to the note taking app of your choice (Google Keep, Gmail, Evernote, etc.).
“Send email to...” - Send email or messages
Right after the command, say out the recipient's name, as well as the subject and message. For example, “Send email to James, subject notebook, message this notebook is terrible” If you're doing it on a mobile phone, you can also use this command to send SMS messages.
“Set alarm for...” - Setting alarm
This command bypasses quite a few clicks to instantly set an alarm for you. It's even smart enough to know what alarm app you use, so the alarm is set using the right app.
“Call...” - Calling people
Call anyone your address book with the “call” command, followed by the person's name. Unfortunately, it doesn't do well with local names like “Vijay,” or “Boon Yeow” but works great with English names like “Jimmy” or “David”.
Travelers will appreciate Google Now's very useful weather cards, that hold accurate weather information from their location.
Looking for locations of your favorite restaurants is much easier. The cards contain crucial information like addresses and even reviews.
Google Now has access to everything Google has, so searching for images faster and easier than doing it on your desktop or laptop.
Google Now keeps you up to date quickly with information that you care about, like sports scores and stock prices.