Ultimate Guide: How to Use Google now Effectively

google now intro image

Google Now is an intelligent personal assistant that aims to provide you the right information at the right time. It provides you information in form of cards, based on your search habits (on Google). It’ll show you the information even before you think of it. It makes the use of knowledge graph developed by Google to provide more structured data.

Google now can really be helpful in getting updates of weather, favorite football teams, road traffic, websites and much more. You can just directly talk to it (via google voice search). Tell it to set alarm, call your friend, make a note and set reminders. But, you need to teach it how effectively it can work for you. By teaching I mean you need to set up your likes and dislikes, your location of work and home and your search habits.

Let’s first of all set up Google now for your smartphone. It’s also available for iOS but here we’ll set it up on Android.

Setting Up Google Now

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Google Now works on smartphones with Android 4.1 or +. It’s available in the Google search app or the widget if you have it on home screen. To make it work, go to Google settings > Search & Now > Google Now. As you put this ON the google search will open up and guide you through the process of making it fully functional. You can also do it manually, if you want more exposure. Get under the settings tab where you can tell Google now which apps it should access, select your language through Voice tab also manage your notifications and privacy.

But to make it effectively work for you need to train it.

Train it

So to make Google now work as a personal assistant, you need to first of all give it your information. Information about the location of your home and work, your favorite sports team, favorite TV shows and information about stocks. So, let’s first customise it.

Customising Google now

Open the google search and as you open you will see a card showing weather update of your city. Below the card at the bottom of the display screen you’ll see a navbar. On the right of the navbar you’ll find a magic stick with sparkling stars. Tap it and you’ll find options like sports, stock, places, TV & Video and Everything else.
  • Sports: Here you can add your favorite teams of football, soccer, basketball, baseball and other high profile sports played in US and Canada. (They should have added Cricket.)
  • Stocks: You can edit your stocks and get updates.
  • Places: Here you need to enter the location of your home and work. Google now is too clever to update you if there is traffic in the route you usually commute from home to work and guide you through a different suitable route where there is less traffic.
  • TV and Video: Now this feature is only available in US. You need to select your TV provider and it’ll recommend you of which shows you should watch. And also alerts you of the upcoming shows.
  • Everything Else: This section contains of which updates you would like to receive and stop unwanted updates.

Setting Reminders

You can set reminders by tapping on the mic present on right of the search bar and say “Remind me to”. Or else on the bottom you’ll find a hand with a string tied on the finger. Tap on it and you’ll get the reminder option.

You can say full sentences like:
” Remind me to go Ben’s home at 5:30 PM”
” Remind me to submit my assignment on this Tuesday.”
“Wake me up at 6 AM”

Get Google Now Launcher

Google now launcher lets you access Google now easily from the home screen. You just need to say ‘Ok google’ and google now will open up. It’s available only on Nexus and google play editions. But, you can find it apk provided by some sites. Just google it. Read more about it’s usage at Google Support.

Use your Voice

You can actually use Google now to its full potential by using your voice. Tap on mic and simply ask it “What is the weather”, “Call Dad” or  to open an app prompt the app name”Open Facebook”. Below are some questions you can ask.
google now commands screenshot
Google Now commands from Digital Trends

Contact Relationships

You can set a relationship for a contact. Just prompt “Stacy is my girlfriend” and when you want call stacy you can just command “Call my girlfriend”. This can be helpful to save your time, if you call some person often. By the way this feature may not be available on devices other than Nexus or Google play editions. Well, it doesn’t run on my phone.

Commute sharing

You can share where are you present right now or going somewhere from your work or home. You can turn ON this feature from Google settings > Search and Now > Accounts and Privacy > Commute sharing. You need to turn on the location sharing feature on google+ to choose who can see your location updates. You’ll get updates in form of cards.

Get Updates of Movies, Famous People and websites

As said before Google now checks your search habits and shows you updates accordingly. So, if you’ve been searching for an upcoming movie you will start getting updates on it. If you’ve opened some site like alltechflix.com on your browser for 3 to 4 times, you’ll get updated if there’s a new article published on it. You can also set a reminder for movies or you want updates of famous personalities.
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You just have to search for the movie name like Captain America: The winter soldier. In the search result you’ll find a Remind me on Google now tab. Tap on it and it’ll update you the day it gets released. The same procedure for famous personalities. Type in their name and you’ll find an option to get updates of them.

Google Now Updates on Chrome

You can get updates on chrome by enabling this feature. Type in chrome://flags in your address bar and find for Google now option and enable it. You should get a pop up after a relaunch, that’ll ask you to enable Google now cards.

google now chrome settings


What to Expect from Google Now

Google now in simple words is the Google version of Siri. Hats off to it intellegence. But many features are kept limited to US. Well, I’m curious to know that more feature google may integrate. They have got huge amount of data about the users. So it’s interesting to see some addons and integration of google glass and other google apps. You may be knowing about the google app field trip.This app shows you cards of some interesting things around your place of where you are present right now. When it finds some interesting place it pops out a card.
Well, Google is working real hard Google now and it’s future will be really cool. Especially cool for us. If you’ve got more tips on Google now you can comment below or share your thoughts on it.

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