Interacting with Google Now

AndroidPhone_Dec17_CAndroid is one of the big two mobile operating systems, offering apps for virtually everything. Google alone has more than 10 different apps, one of the more potentially useful being Google Now. This app is a digital assistant that can help you find the information you need while presenting additional information like traffic, important activities, etc. You can even interact with it by speaking.

How to use Google Now

With most phones, you can access Google Now by pressing and holding the home button on your device. You should see a circle appear on the screen that says Google. Swipe up to it and let go to open the app. If that doesn’t work, open the app drawer on your device and look for the Google app (blue square with a lowercase g). Owners of the Nexus 5, should be able to say, “Ok, Google”, from anywhere on the main screen or swipe to the left from the home screen to open Google Now.

Once you are taken to the main Google Now screen you will see useful cards that the app deems relevant to you e.g., weather, traffic, time to home, sport scores, upcoming calendar of events, information related to your most recent Google search, upcoming flight information and more.

To start a search, or interact with Google Now, simply say: “Ok, Google.” If that doesn’t work, tap the microphone in the search bar at the top so that you can use voice commands.

General commands

These commands are search related and you can use them to find information on Google Search. You can start a search by saying “Search for (something),” If you ask Google Now to “Search for the nearest computer repair shop,” for example, you should get the same results you would using Google Search on your browser.

You can also start a search by asking a question. Ask, for example, “How many gallons is 5 liters?” and you should see the conversion pop right up.

If you come across a word and are unsure what it means, ask the app to, “Define (word)”, or ask, “What does (word) mean?” You should see the definition displayed, along with additional information.

Setting notes and reminders

You can also use Google Now to set reminders and notes by saying:

  • Wake me up at (time e.g., 5 am tomorrow) – This will take you to your phone’s alarm screen and automatically set your alarm.
  • Remind me to (action) on/at (time) e.g., (remind me to order pizza at 11:00 am) – This will set a reminder on your phone and let you know at 11:00 am to order pizza. You can even ask to set location specific reminders e.g., “Remind me when I get to work to email Jane.”

Communication

There are a number of useful commands you can use to interact with the communication features of your phone.

  • Call (person) – Be sure to say the name of the contact as they are on your phone. If you have more than one contact with the same, or similar name, the app will ask you which one you want to call.
  • Send email to (person) subject (your subject) body (your message) – This will create an email message directly in Google Now. If the email is correct, you can press the send icon, all without having to open your email app.
  • Send SMS to (contact) (message) – Will draft a text message directly in Google Now. If the app is unsure of the contact, you will be asked to pick from a list. If the message is correct, you will be able to send it directly from the app.

There are actually over 60 useful voice commands you can use with Google Now. Check out this infographic to see all of them. If you would like to learn more about using Android in your business, please contact us today.

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