Google mistakenly reveals new Google Now widget

by: Gary SimsFebruary 12, 2013

googlenowadGoogle is clearly trying to raise awareness of Google Now, Android’s built-in voice and search system which tries to get “you just the right information at just the right time”, and after the airing of some prime time ads about the system, it seems that Google has some changes in the pipeline. Google Now is normally a separate screen that shows things like traffic, weather and stocks and also allows access to Google Search, however it isn’t activated via a normal app icon on the  home screen but rather it only appears when you use the standard search bar.

This means that all those potentially useful “cards” are hidden until you use the search facility. According to some short lived official Google support pages, Google are planning to release a Google Now widget that “displays a summary of your current Google Now cards, either on a home screen or on the lock screen.” I said short lived because, once the story broke on the Internet about the new widget, all the pages were removed by Google!

google now widget

What the support pages did show was a widget with information about the current traffic, the current weather and the current Google share price. The widget is for a UK Android user as it shows the weather situation in London and the traffic report is for the A1234, a major road in Yorkshire!

When this new widget will appear is unclear, will it be part of the next version of Android? Will it be part of an update to Jelly Bean 4.1 or 4.2 or will it be part of an update via Google Play? However it appears, it can’t come soon enough as the main reason I don’t use Google Now is that it is too hidden! This new widget will be a welcome addition.

What do you think, would you use Google Now more if there was a widget?


  • Too hidden? Just tap and hold the home button and glide your finger to the Google icon that pops up.

    • MasterMuffin

      and you obviously think that everyone has a nexus?

      • Joel dos Santos Almeida

        I don’t have a Nexus and my Transformer does that…

        • And my crappy, horrible DNA.

        • MasterMuffin

          Ok I’ll just now simply delete my stupid comment and you never saw it right? Should always think before commenting :)

          • Joel dos Santos Almeida

            It’s ok lol. It’s still hard to get into google now on a device without onscreen buttons but you can always use the search widget or an shortcut or even customize a launcher to open it under certain circumstances.

    • Yeah, Android is built around widgets and the notification system. Anything that doesn’t appear there is hidden! I don’t want to have to tap, hold or slide anything.

      I get notifications about Gmail and Tweets and I have widgets for things like the Weather but Google Now is in the background!

  • Krisztian

    I would use more if it were available… Only weather works. Why can’t you make a product available everywhere. I understand for some features you need legality, but most of them are some good feature which I think are legal everywhere.

  • Bone

    I like it a lot. I guess Google realized most ppl. are not aware of the capabilities and a good old widget can create more attention. I just hope it will arrive to earlier versions.

  • Kieron Quinn

    London, A1234. London, A1234. 45 mins. I think the A1234 is just a example A-road TBH, 45 mins from near London to Yorkshire is very quick

  • Steve Rodrigue

    Some of the Google Now information is available through the notification screen, but it’s not obvious enough.

    Problems with gestures, it’s they don’t have visual clues about them. There should be an overlay on the home key (on device with virtual keys) that would hint the “slide up to Google Now”… And once used a couple of time the overlay would disappear, like a “wizard/guide”.

  • Terry Cameron

    You can also click “Google” in the homescreen search bar / widget. The one with the mic.

    If that’s not on your phone there’s got to be an APK somewhere.