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Google Now fully ported to Ice Cream Sandwich, all features including Voice Search reported as working

August 6, 2012

Google Now has been the headline of Jelly Bean’s update changelog since day one, but unfortunately, the service has only been available to JB users until now. We’ve talked on a number of occasions about Google Now’s exquisite interface, its ease of use, functionality, and its splendid Voice Search function, which has already kicked Siri’s you know what more than once. But the truth is very few of us have had the chance to test the “mobile personalized search application” so far.

Fortunately, thanks to the collective efforts of some brilliant XDA developers, we can finally install Google Now on ICS-powered devices and enjoy the full functionality of the service, including voice search.

The road to making everything work on Android 4.0 has been a long and bumpy one, but that’s all in the past now. If you own an Ice Cream Sandwich-based gadget and want to see how Google Now works, you only have to follow a short set of instructions.

Well, that is actually a bit of an overstatement, as those of you who aren’t very skilled in the “flashing custom ROMs” or “renaming apk files” areas will probably not have an easy task running Google Now on their devices.

There are three different XDA threads you should visit and carefully browse if you want to give Google Now a try, but before anything, keep in mind that the only responsibility for your actions will fall down on you. That said, if you don’t know exactly what you are doing when you are doing it, you should ask for the devs’ help in the dedicated threads.

The first place you might want to go is lenny_kano’s thread here, where the apk and zip files for the “Google Now for ICS Project” have first been uploaded. You can skip this step by going straight to SilentStormer’s thread, where you can download the fully working Google Now mod and get all the installing instructions for devices running AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROMs.

If those instructions seem a bit too complicated for you, there is also Gachana’s thread, where these are summarized and put into plainer English. No matter which one of those threads you’ll end up downloading the mod from, however, try to remember that this is an unofficial app and therefore some bugs might be encountered here and there. Most users who’ve tried out this Google Now build are saying that it works like a charm with only a couple of minor exceptions, but if you happen to bump into more critical glitches, don’t be shy and let the world know about them.

So, what say you ICS users? Does Google Now look and behave as cool as you imagined? Is Voice Search as brilliant as on Jelly Bean-based devices?