Google Now, the mind-reading personal assistant for iOS and Android, has gotten a ton of updates lately, making it the perfect smartphone companion for…well, anything. Here’s a list of the coolest stuff it can do.
Google Now does a ton of awesome stuff, and it’s releasing new features all the time.
10. Keep Your Commute Simple
You spend a lot of time driving (or riding transit) between work, events, seeing friends, and everything else. Google Now can make it a lot easier. If you enter your work address in its settings, it’ll always let you know how long it’ll take to get there, so you don’t get unexpectedly caught in traffic. It supports driving and public transit, and will even remember where you parked or tell you when the last train leaves. You can even share your commute with your family and friends, so they can check up on when you’re getting home.
9. Keep an Eye on Stocks & Sports
You probably already know about this one, since it’s been there since the beginning. By entering your favorite sports teams and most-followed stocks in Now’s settings, you can get an update on how your team is winning, how your stocks are plummeting, or vice versa. It’ll also track stocks you’ve searched for and ones you’re tracking on Google Finance.
8. Travel Without Stress
If you’re leaving town, Google Now knows it—and can provide you with a ton of useful information. If you’re flying, it’ll keep track of your flight (using information from your email confirmation), let you know when to leave the airport, and have your boarding pass ready for you when you get there. It’ll also help you out with hotel information, car rentals, show you nearby places and events, photo spots, and—if you’re out of the country—even provide you with cards for translation and currency conversion. Basically, any time you’re out of town, pull up Google Now and it’ll have everything you might need at the ready.
7. See How Far You’ve Walked (or Biked)
If you have Location Reporting and Location History enabled on your phone, Google Now will pop up a card once a month that estimates how far you’ve walked or biked, based on your phone’s accelerometer (Android only). Just remember: if you have these features enabled, that means Google is logging everywhere you go, so make sure you’re comfortable with that before you turn it on.
6. Go Shopping, Online and In-Store
You probably already know that Google Now will provide tracking information for packages you’ve ordered online. But it also helps you shop in the real world, too. If you walk into a mall, it’ll tell you what stores are available, and if you’ve researched a product recently, it’ll even tell you if you’re near a store that carries it. Talk about handy!
5. Stay Up to Date on Movies, Books, and TV Shows
When you search for a movie, book, TV show, music artist, or video game on Google, it’ll remember—and give you information about it in Google Now. You can even tell Google to remind you about upcoming episodes, so you know when your favorite shows start. If you head into Now’s Customize menu, you can tell it your cable provider and on demand services (like Netflix and Hulu) and it’ll adjust its cards for those services.
If you have an network-connected TV, things get even more interesting. Google Now will detect your TV and you can tell it to “listen” to what you’re watching. It’ll then provide you with more information about that show.
4. Access Tickets for Upcoming Events
If you have a concert or other event coming up—and you were emailed the ticket—Google Now will remind you of the event, tell you when to leave, and give you one-tap access to the email with your tickets. It also integrates with Fandango so you can scan the tickets right from Google Now.
3. Keep Up With Your Favorite Web Sites and News
You probably know that Google Now will give you information on things you’ve recently searched, but it can do more than that. It’ll also alert you of breaking news, storm warnings, other important things. Plus, you can tell it to keep you up to date on certain people or let you know when your favorite blog updates with a new post.
2. Get Reminders Anytime, Anywhere
As if all the above weren’t enough, you can tell Google Now to remind you of just about anything, right when you need it the most. Bring up Google Now and tell it to remind you of something at a certain time, or when you reach a certain location. For example, you could have it “Remind me to call Mom in an hour” or “Remind me to take out the trash when I get home.” If you have events in Google Calendar, it’ll remind you when they’re happening—and, if they have a location, when you should leave to get there on time. It’ll even remind you when you have bills you need to pay.
1. Ask Your Phone Anything
Of course, Google Now does most of the above on its own, but you can ask it just about anything and get a smart answer, too. Google Now’s voice commands can do anything from make conversions to defining words to telling you who the president of the United States is.