Google Search got a healthy update today, adding all kinds of cool little features.
We’ll start with TV, which may have the coolest use case for everyday life. If you’ve ever watched a show, and seen an actor you can’t quite place, Google has you covered. If your TV is internet ready, and both your mobile device and TV are on the same network connection, you’ve got it made. In Google Now, a card with the title “Listen for a TV show” will allow you to get info about what you’re watching in real time, without entering any data. Maybe that actor was on a really great show you used to love, but can’t quite remember the name. Google Now may just give you their complete resume of roles (like IMDB), allowing you to start connecting dots.
Google Offers is also getting a little Google Now handshake, allowing you to access saved offers. If you find a good deal in Offers, Google Now will remind you of the offers you save when you get near the location. This has been a feature in Offers for a while, but the update brings that functionality to Now.
To round out the update, there are two more cool features. You can now play music using voice commands, making All Access that much cooler. Any song you want, anytime you ask it to be played. While it may default to YouTube, as it did for me, you can click on the icon and it will give you a choice of apps from which to play the song. The Play Music controls were then in the notification bar drop down menu, like they would be if I played the song from Play Music itself.
The last, but maybe the most useful, is something called “Voice action tips”. While no information is readily available about that one, it seems as though Google Now will advise you as to which commands are best to achieve what you’d like. It would be next to impossible for Google to readily appreciate how each person may try to accomplish tasks, but a little tutorial on best practises is a great way to go.
Do you have the update yet? What do you think of the features?