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Review

The best features of Google Now


Google Now is Google's revamped search app for Android and iOS, first unveiled at Google I/O 2012 and currently available on Android 4.1 (aka Jelly Bean)-capable devices. Google Now provides a lot of information at a glance right from opening the app. There is information on sports scores, weather, places to eat, and much more. And Google Now gets smarter with the more you use Google's different services -- for example, if you have a booked a flight using a Gmail email address, Google Now will display the flight information based on the confirmation number in the email.

On top of all this, Google has built in voice commands, similar to Siri, that give you control of certain tasks from within Google Now. Since these commands are based on voice input, there may be some times where it doesn't hear you clearly or understand you, but that's ok. The more you talk to Google Now, the better it becomes as it begins to learn your speech patterns.

These are our top 5 Google Now voice features:

Search

It goes without saying that using search via Google Now is a must. All you need to do is say "Search for [object or topic]" and Google Now will locate the relevant information. If you go into Google Now's Settings, you can tell Google Now how or where to Search, not just via Google, but based on information or apps on your phone.

Navigation

Google Now can quickly pull up directions with a simple "Navigate to [address or place]." This can be especially handy if you have a hands-free set up in your car and need to get directions to where you're going.

Convert numbers

Google Now isn't just for searching, it's also a convenient calculator. If you've ever been reading directions for making a new recipe but aren't sure about a volume of measurement, you can use Google Now to convert it. Simply say, "Convert [unit of measure] to [unit of measure]." You can even go one step further and mix different units for a more sophisticated conversion.

Reminders

If you're prone to forgetting things, Google Now has you covered with its built-in reminder tool (this is independent of your Calendar). Just say to Google Now, "Remind me to [verb] at [time]" and you're all set. Google Now's reminder feature is even sophisticated enough to provide a reminder based on your location. So if you have a habit of forgetting to take out the garbage, just set a reminder for when you get home and Google Now will make sure you don't forget.

Handsfree texting

Quickly converse with your friends or family through Google Now. Just kick off a voice command prompt and tell Google Now who you want to text by saying "Send a text to [contact]" followed by your message. Google Now will show you a preview of the message so don't worry if you forgot something.

This is just beginning to scratch the surface of what Google Now is capable of through voice commands. Over at Addictive Tips, they have a thorough list of Google Now voice commands if you're looking to experiment more with what you can do.