Google Now: Is it living up to the hype? [POLL]


I don’t know about everyone else, but when Google Now was announced as part of the Android 4.1 update I had a high sense of hope for the service. After months of living in a Jelly Bean world, I am here to express my disappointment in Google’s system of on-demand information.

Let me be clear, my dissatisfaction rests solely in Google Now’s cards system. The improvements to the overall search experience, including voice interactions, are by themselves a valuable addition to the Android ecosystem. I would choose Google Now hands down over Apple’s Siri personal assistant for this reason alone.

But what really excited me about Google Now was the potential for providing information at a glance — relevant information based on my search history, location, and mobile habits. What I actually get is a glorified weather widget with a few local bar and restaurant suggestions. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m not being adventurous enough to trigger more than football scores on a Sunday. Maybe I don’t book enough hotel rooms or take as many flights as I should.

And don’t get me started on Google Now’s suggested travel and traffic times. Google Now is extremely hard to customize in this respect, only allowing you to add a new place after Google detects a frequent location for you. As someone who works from home, I have little use for the traffic card if it will only start me out with locations it assumes are my home and work. But they aren’t. Making matters worse, I typically travel by bike. Google’s traffic widget doesn’t allow you to choose your method of transportation beyond driving or public transit.

But Google Now does do some cool things, like telling me how far I have ridden said bike in a month (how it determines my method of travel is part of the magic that first drew me to the feature). Package tracking info is useful, as long as it registers (I have yet to get this feature to work). But this highlights my issues with Google Now further. In an effort to focus on the service as a predictive suggestion engine, Google has left out the ability for greater control.

As the app stands, Google Now only offers settings and notification options for so many cards. Follow a link to Google’s site and you are greeted with a lengthy list of interactions that you have no control over until Google decides you would like to use them. Going back to the package tracking example, how about a way to manually enter tracking information, Google? How about a way to manually update any of the available cards with information that doesn’t seem to be registering based simply on GMail and search history results?

Or maybe I’m just doing it wrong. It wouldn’t the first time. That’s why I am asking how others have fared with Google Now. Has it been everything you expected? A neat novelty? Or a total disappointment? Sound off.

[polldaddy poll=6751829]

Kevin Krause
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  1. For me the cards are great but the search is so painfully slow. Sometimes it’s almost useless. On my nexus 7 it was better but with 4.2 it had gotten as slow as my galaxy nexus.

    1. Agreed. Sometimes it slows down what I used to use the search button for – contact search, websites w/ autocomplete search, etc…even with Google Now disabled in settings. If they can get that straightened out for older devices to handle properly (Nexus S for example), then I’m all for it. For now though, I’ll stick with ICS (and earlier) search.

      1. Some of these new features are going to depend on more processing power, that’s just the nature of OS evolving to take advantage of hardware advances.

    2. Try to voice search with bluetooth connected (on SGS3), like in a car. The first time it prompts you it’ll hang on “initializing” for a long time, you have to back out and hit the voice search again to get it to listen. It won’t do this if it isn’t connected via bluetooth.

      1. drives me INSANE!!! glad to know it’s not just me.

    3. When my Galaxy Nexus first got 4.1, Google Now was pretty speedy. Now with 4.2, it is very slow. Like someone else said in the comments here, if I want to do a simple web or phone search, it takes a lot longer than it should with Google Now having to load everything. I hope the next version of 4.2 focuses on speed and lag issues.

  2. Ehhh i just got it on my galaxy s3 and i enjoy it the cards have let me dowm a bit so far

  3. I’ve yet to get the distance walked feature to work. I walk everywhere so I was really looking forward to this feature. I think the cards should be like widgets, you choose which ones you want. I also think the cards should be smaller so you can see more information at once. I like simplistic, and but there is a point where simplistic becomes stupid (i*hone

    1. I think you can turn on and off certain cards in the settings.

      1. I tried that. I I’m on a galaxy nexus, and so far nothing. A lot of people are without it, apparently it just shows up.

  4. Ive had eerie results with google now, doing searches for things on my pc (logged into chrome) then going out in the car and having google now telling me directions to the searches as soon as I pull out my phone. Or being out and about, beyond the usual work or home locations, and google now giving me eta’s to home or other areas i frequent. I guess the second one there is more like what you posted, but I overall find this useful. Not great, but at least useful at times.

    1. Same thing happens to me. One time I was a couple minutes late for something at school and my phone notified me that it was “Time to leave for Calculus Class”. So far it’s done everything expected, and more – literally.

    2. I had a similar experience that creeped me out at first. Just casually browsing Apple’s site (don’t shoot me) and pulled out phone later and Google Now told me how long it’ll take to get to the Apple store here.

  5. It just needs the ability to manually enter some things I think, like you said, being able to manually add a tracking number.

    1. Mine has always gotten every tracking number direct from email. Have you not had the same experience? The whole point of Google Now is to get information that you need all on its own. No user interaction needed.

      1. I think what he’s saying is that while it does get information on its own it would be great to be able to add things in yourself.
        For example if you ordered something online but from another email account you could add the tracking number manually.

      2. It’s gotten one tracking number out of maybe eight or ten for me. And it was the first one. It didn’t even pick up the confirmation from the Nexus 7 I ordered from the Play Store.

      3. It seems to me that it almost needs to be a clickable link for it to really pick up the tracking number. Its been very reliable on flights and obviously calendar invites and the like.

      4. My Goolge Now only ever shows the tracking from one email :/

    2. Or you could just setup FaraNow…

      1. or you could just stay on topic… *Flies away*

  6. I just don’t do enough interesting stuff that I need Google Now that often. I really do love it when I do travel or need to find something I searched for….but in reality, we all do the same stuff daily, so it appears as more of a novelty.

    I will say that the recent updates make it WAY more functional with monitoring email for packages and flights, etc. Before that it was a real dud, IMO.

  7. Perhaps your expectations were a bit too high. It’s a case by case basis. I absolutely love the traffic feature as I travel an hour to school and back each day. Are there things that need improving? Definitely. Are there additions that can be added to make things more useful for everyone? Sure. But we are barely half a year into Google Now which is a completely new OS feature and Google is constantly updating it with new functionality. We must remember the OS we love and call Android did not start at Jelly Bean it progressed and I see this as a whole hell of a lot better starting point than Siri.

    1. You sir, have taken the words right out of my mind.

    2. Siri who?

    3. You travel to school with Google Now :O ?

      1. Your comment makes no sense. No where in Malik’s comment did he ever say he “travels to school with ‘Google Now” so…….yea

        1. “I absolutely love the traffic feature as I travel an hour to school and back each day.”.. Third sentence in. So yeah

          1. You must be new here, let me be your guide.
            Your reply makes less sense than your first comment – sure, he uses Google Now to see the traffic as he travels to and fro from school every day.
            Does he ride Google Now to school? NOPE.

          2. Ok, travel to school with the aid of Google Now. (I) Never thought Phandroid readers would be so picky

          3. Absolute moron here, he uses Google Now to gauge traffic. Why is that hard to comprehend?

  8. I’m liking Google Now. Its learning. Its a lot like me. It likes to figure stuff out on its own, and not be told what to do. I had my first calendar appointment yesterday since getting to use Google Now since buying the Note 2. And it popped up with a message telling me to leave now so that I could get to my destination on time.

    What I don’t care for are the previous 3 search results from my PC showing up as the first thing I see when I load it. I’ve searched those terms, I don’t need to search them again on my phone. Found no way to turn those off, other than clicking on the X’s until they all disappear.

    1. I think appointment reminders and “you should leave now” are great and all, but it needs to do two things better for this to be more useful:
      1) actually reroute me if there is heavy, or even moderate, traffic in an intelligent fashion, ie avoid the congested area only
      2) tell me to leave sooner than 15 minutes before my flight actually takes off OR have me arrive to a wedding more than 1 minute before the wedding starts -> it needs to become smarter about the “type” of appointment and adjust times and/or buffers appropriately. This is a more difficult task, but its one that Google can solve, if anyone can.

      1. Why don’t you set the appointment or whatever 15 to 20 minutes before the actual time? That way you have that cushion.

        1. this

  9. I like Google Now. If i add an adress in a calendar post it will show distance and time to get there. However i added some sport clubs on my SG3 to get the results etc and i have a small problem. SG3 totally ignores them but they show up fine on my Galaxy Nexus. Also i can’t make SG3 answer questions with speech – it only shows google results. The G Nex answers fine with speech. Have i set up the SG3 wrong or does Google Now work different on the two phones. Both have JB 4.1.1. Input appreciated :-)

    (I have disabled the places nearby card since it only shows useless places. May be fine for inspiration if you are in an unknown place but it hasn’t got a clue when i’m “home”)

  10. I don’t work at home, and this thing has traffic down to a T for me. It’s awesome.

    I don’t have the same issues as the Author but everyone is unique in that respect. However, I think Google doesn’t a fairly good job targeting the features to the majority of users.

  11. Additionally the cards system is amazing. Knows when I have an incoming package from Amazon. Flight times when I’m traveling.. what my team scored in a game etc. It’s honestly pretty awesome if you ask me.

  12. I think it just needs to be fleshed out more. I do know that when you’re travelling or loved ones are travelling its a godsend. Instead of having to put flight info into a flight tracker, its all right there without having to lift a finger – and often more accurate as well.

    I thought that when it told me that I could wait 15 minutes to leave to go pick up my wife from the airport because the flight was landing late – “damn thats cool”

  13. I use it everyday and the update that just came across rocked my socks

  14. My girlfriend was not a heavy user of Google Now but recently switched to a Verizon S3 without it from a Galaxy Nexus and is going crazy missing it – so definitely.

  15. It’s easiest to update your Home and Work addresses from the desktop:

    To set your Home and Work address, go to:
    Make sure you are logged into your Google Account registered on your phone.
    Select: “View Location History”
    Select: “Dashboard”
    Then on the left you can edit the addresses for both as needed.

    From a phone:
    Open the Google Maps App
    Select “Location History” from the drop down

    Then you can search by date and select what Google currently believes is your home and work address and update/edit as needed.

    (EDIT: You can modify your Home and Work straight for the Google Now App. Select the 3 vertical dots on the upper right hand corner of the “Travel Time to Home/Work” Screen.
    Select Settings and under locations, change your home and work address.)

    Keep in mind that your Location History needs to be turned on your phone, regardless of what Google has your home and work address as.

    Open the Google Maps App

    Go to Settings (3 dots in the right hand corner
    Select “Location Settings”
    Under “Location History”, Make sure “Enable Location History” is checked if you want Google to save the history for you. Your history is not shared with anyone else, according to the app.

    1. I’m not reading that on my phone. LoL!! But yea. I did manually change my work and home address too. Although it kinda figured it out on it’s own. =.S

    2. Or you can just change it from
      Click “My Places” and you can edit home and work.

      A lot simpler than all the above methods.

  16. I highly enjoy Google now… It works like a charm. I do not understand why you are having so many issues.

    1. Me too. I was always a big fan of Google’s old Voice Actions app with Android 2.x, and this just expands on it with continuing updates and features.

      The cards and proactive assisting it makes it all the better for me. It really feels like an intelligent assistant.

  17. I was really looking forward to Gnow, and I do use it as my preferred way of seeing score updates for local sports, but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.

    I don’t like getting home from work, opening Gnow and the first card shown is traffic to work. I’d think it would be better served if there were some way for them to just send me a notification when there’s an abnormal traffic event within 30 minutes of my normal commutes, that would make the traffic one useful. of course, then I’d have to tell google when I go to and come home from work…

    1. The scores thing has a long way to go before being useful.

      RE: traffic and directions, Google knows exactly when you travel, look at your location history in Google Maps and you’ll be amazed at how accurate things are. I do agree though, they keep reminding me of the distance to home, after I’ve pulled into my garage. I also don’t want to know at 10pm, what the traffic is currently to work (which I leave for at 7am). They’re getting there, but needs work.

  18. Package Tracking works great with Amazon.

  19. Id haveto say I competely agree with this posting I just upgraded from an evo 4G lte yesterday to a gs 3 and where google now lacks you hit it right on the nose which is exactly what I thought as of yesterday when I finally got to see google now on my new gs 3

    1. Google Now required more than 1 day of learning to be accurate. At first It didn’t know the difference between work and home. Now its picking up on little things.

  20. I’ve been pleased with Google Now and the updated Google Search. The cards work well for me, and the new voice actions have worked very well with the natural language processing. It’s nice being able to phrase what you want it to do without having to remember exact commands. I love that.

    It’s not 100% perfect, no. But it is continually improving. I love that it is getting updates often, with new functionality and features. Siri usually requires updates to the entire OS, but Google Now/Search can be updated independently of the OS. That’s the way it should be.

  21. I absolutely love GNow. Every morning it tells me if there are traffic delays on my normal route. It’s also learned the route I take to avoid freeways and it tells me how long it will take if I go that way. This makes my decision on the morning commute easy, and it’s usually accurate. It’s also great for sports scores and the package tracking from my email is really cool. I’d love to see more features, but I already depend on it in my daily life.

  22. I have great success with it. The time to leave for appointments is really nice and I often use it to set alarms and make calls.

  23. For me it works great, actually think its the best system out there. Many of my friends miss the “personal” character of Siri, as in the jokes and calling you by name and all this crap.

    1. Your friends must have no friends if they need that kind of comfort.

  24. Its good, but it is far from polished. When things work its great but somethings are still obviously wonky. Living is SF I find it really useful. The flight and package tracking stuff needs a little work. I’d suggest a way to alert Google Now about packages and flights from Gmail. I’d actually think it would be neat to have any of Google’s services “alert” my google now for certain things. New videos on my youtube channels(specifically choose channels) , Very important calendar events, etc, etc…

    1. also, the speed of iteration of it is also awesome and worthy of note. By the time 5.0 comes around it might be completely different.

  25. i know i have package tracking numbers in my gmail, but they never show up as cards.

    1. Did you manually go in and allow Google Now to search your email?

  26. Why would choose to enter a tracking number manually? You should have gone to the official website of which delivery service instead. The concept of Google Now is to provide you with information, not you providing the information. And FYI, Google has just added more cards after the recent update they had for Google Search. I’m talking about more cards based on my search history.

  27. My issue is that you have to choose one google account or the other. I am not sure how many other people do like I do, but I have a “personal” google account and then a “professional” account. IE, my personal account has a whimsical email address I made many moons ago in college, whereas my professional one uses my initials and last name, so I can use it for work.

    So now, maps and cards are a little out of whack, with all sorts of things popping up, and tracking numbers, maps, etc, all those cards being fragmented. I would love the option to say use both my accounts at the same time, (like I can with the Calender widget) and specify which things I want to show up on cards, like having my professional map places of “Work and home” show up, but not having personal stuff show up on the phone until away from work. In short just want to be able to utilize both, but manage the cards for each account and not have duplicates, etc. Maybe it will be addressed in later updates, or maybe I might have overlooked something on my Gnex that allows me to do just that! (eh, it happens. Some days I don’t have enough coffee and make rookie mistakes) Other than that, I love the GoogleNow system, and it continually impresses me when I travel away for business; especially since I fly United mostly, and the newest update pulls my boarding pass automatically. It really is impressive what GNow is able to do.

    1. With 4.2 you can now have multiple logins on your device, so that shouldnt be an issue anymore. I have multiple accounts on my Nexus 7.

      1. Good to know. I was wondering if that would be addressed in the 4.2 update. Thanks for the heads up!

  28. It needs a little polishing and a better GUI. I wish it was a little more intuitive and interacted better with other El Goog Products.

    -Do away with Latitude and incorporate all the features into G+ and Google Now. Allow my auto check-in feature to work automatically with those two

    -Use my search history and chrome to phone to find what i like…its not too difficult to pick up on most people consistent likes/dislikes

    -allow me to like up or down thew info your giving me to get proper feedback

  29. My biggest issue with Google Now is when I want to just do a regular old Google search like “One X wiki” it takes much longer than it used to.

  30. I like it, though it can use some improvements. For instance, I ordered N4 with tracking info from Google… nothing ever popped up in Google Now. Also, during baseball season I had a few teams that I follow, but had searched on one for a friend while signed in on my computer and the status of that team kept spamming me. I couldn’t get that team to disappear! Deleted on N7 and GNex… it kept coming back. I’m not aware of a way to do this centrally on a Google site.

    They’ve come out with a few updates which shows they’re making rapid progress. So that’s promising.

  31. I wish they would open up an API (or use Intents, or whatever) for third-parties. Google Now uses Google’s own traffic/nav stuff, but I prefer Waze. There are various other things like this that would make it more useful.

    I also wish that once you used the “Say Google” and it gave you results, you could say “Google” again to wake it up for another search. I don’t understand why it only works once (or am I doing it wrong?).

    PS – Why can’t I set a “name” for any of the virtual assistants, and then say that name to activate it, instead of saying “Google” or “Hey Vlingo”? I want to be able to record whatever name I want, and then have it match that name. “Ozymandius… navigate to home”.

  32. I’ve gotten better about filling out the Location field in my calendar events to take advantage to Google Now’s you need to leave now to make it on time feature. Other than that, it’s only okay for practical stuff or it tries too hard for stuff that isn’t really important to me.

  33. There is a bug on file for the tracking card issue. It’s please comment and/or star the issue in hopes someone can figure out a pattern and so google will take notice of it.

    OT: Let’s see if this comment disappears as well…fourth attempt. BTW is the google URL shortener if that is the reason why my comments keep getting deleted!

  34. Well, I’ve only had it a few days so I’m still in the honeymoon phase, however I can see areas where it could be extended to make it even more useful. An API extension that would allow Now to query any app (with user opt in) for data would give it a much broader data set to work with. For example, I rarely use a web search to check game scores, using an app instead. If the app could give Now information on the scores I frequently check, then it could feed that data to me. Same with other apps that have “bits of my information profile” stored away. Then in a broader scope, I can imagine Now being able to query/control other systems with voice notifications….imagine you’re driving home and Now chimes in (using a nice HAL voice) “Dave, I see you are on your way home, would you like me to turn down the AC?”.. or “Dave, I see you are on your way to work, you left the light on in the kitchen, would you like me to turn it off? “Dave, you haven’t picked up the kids from school…would you like me to call the school and tell them you’ll be late?” Well I guess that last one doesn’t need an external connection… I’d also like the ability to have it be able to notify on end of event notifications too (Your daughter’s dance class ends in 10 minutes)

  35. Google Now isn’t a disappointment for me because it’s exactly what I expected it to be. I didn’t get “hyped” over it because I saw it for what it was. I use it daily and it really comes in handy, especially the travel card. At a glance traffic for my usual route is great and saves me a lot of time regularly.

  36. Google Now is pretty awesome. Definitely could be better with a little more ability to tweak certain settings. But, for whenever I need bus times, the weather at a glance, and traffic conditions it’s always pretty on point. Definitely handy.

  37. Package tracking worked for me when it was first added, but hasn’t worked at all since. And I almost always have a package on its way.

    NFL and NBA scores work well but I wish they would add NCAA.

    I don’t commute so that’s not useful to me. The alerts before an appointment are useful though.

    I use Google Now as my exclusive weather app.

    I walk or bike at least a few times a week (and sometimes every day). The first time I’ve seen anything pop up was yesterday and it said I walked a mile in November. I’ve walked multiple miles each time I went out.

    So its great when it works. But more of the features don’t work than the ones that do. It needs a lot of work but I still love it.

  38. What hype?? You don’t see the tech media hyping it like they did Siri. Every day they write some article about Siri being revolutionary and how it was the beginning of a whole new paradigm of human/computer interface. It WAS the future and they kept writing about this week after week when there wasn’t anything new to say about Siri. Now here it is Google Now wins Innovation of the Year from Popular Science where they even call out Siri for the gimmick that it is and the tech media will barely mention Google Now. The only time they mention it is when there’s a new feature and even then its always “Google’s answer to Apple”. So honestly there is no “hype” for it to live up to.

    As for your mileage I think Now really plays to people on the move and with routines. It is VERY useful for me in my current work routine but I could see it not being as useful on previous gigs that I’ve commuted to. And if you don’t travel alot then you aren’t getting the benefit of the travel info and reservations. Now one thing I thought about just this morning that would help non public transpo commuters would be traffic and accident cards. I have to listen to the radio and hope to catch accident info before I make traffic decisions. It would be good if this was surfaced to me around commute time in a text form rather than on the map. Or maybe I’m missing the info when the map card comes up with the commute time.

  39. Haven’t used it yet. Thanks Verizon!

  40. Me personality, I disable Google Now with TB. I just can’t be bothered with it. It uses tpo

  41. It works great except I would love to see the amount I walked every single day along with a better hands free experience. As I have to always hold the search button on my phone while driving. It would be nice to enable “hands free” and be able to say Google on any window or while screen is locked to open up google now’s voice search.

  42. How about we/providers update phones quicker so we can bash/love it too! DR RAZR…

  43. I just find it too slow. Unlock nexus, swipe up, wait for Google Now page to load, press mic icon, speak, wait for results, sometime have to select what I clearly said and it typed out. I want my assistant to be near instant or I could have already found what I was looking for. No NCAA is unforgivable. It has potential though.

  44. i manually set everything to ON and it never shows anything beside weather. I had UPS in my Gmail and it never showed any package. It does show me how to get home when i’m away from home. but that’s it.

  45. I dont have Google now yet so i really only know what I have read it might already do some of the things I would like see. It sounds to me like it is a great concept with alot of potential. When I do finally get it I hope they add a few things. I would like to see them Intigrate it with google tv. It would be cool to see cards that tell you your favorit show is airing a new episode tonight or even sudgets showes to watch based on your viewing history and let yiou record them from your phone. I would like it to learing your hobbies and then give you information based on your hobbies like if you are a skiier it would give you weather updates at resorts that you frequent or give you pictures from the resorts website. I also think it would be cool if when you have it name a song for you it will then check google music to see if you already have the song and let you know. The last thing that would be cool is if it had more 3rd party app intigration. A good app that would work for this is my fitnesspal.

  46. There needs to be an option for the poll “wouldn’t know, don’t have jellybean yet like most people”

  47. How about the way it alerts you to get on the road to your next appointment based on traffic and distance, not on the standard meeting alert time?

    I took an international trip recently and loved the way my flights and gate info came up at just the right times.

    All package shipping info is easier to read on a Google Now card than in email, so I can just filter this email from my inbox now. Cool.

    One-click navigation to next meetings, or to get home – just great.

    Google Now is a killer feature for me.

  48. it’s successful in the sense that it’s useful! but yeah, needs some tweaks here and there which I know Google will do, eventually. :)

  49. Love it

  50. Even more useless outside USA, I couldn’t even track googles own package to me the other week. (Nexus 4), is very random with what it showed me, I have chosen a sports team from the list. (Leeds United) but it’s never once shown me a card about them, when I updated the other day and it showed me a “continue your research” card that I haven’t seen since

  51. I have yet to see anything but the weather card which used to work perfectly in showing itself when I get up. Now for some reason I don’t even get that anymore. The search on my Gnex is very slow to type until a couple of words have been entered making it no longer bring up results from locally on the phone.

  52. Eventually Google now figured out I don’t take the highways to work and adjusted my “commute” to take my preferred route.

  53. Google now def needs alot of improvements but I’m excited for the future cause it could only get better! I’m sure we’re going to see great improvements when key lime pie come out.

  54. it must not be a hype at all, sure many people act in a hype about a phone…like lemmings ;)
    But LG made a very good phone though some says it’s overrated…In terms of design and haptics it’s very well and good designed. you clearly can see the usurers on ebay…the same phone costs 100euro more -_-‘ sucks, ebay sucks. and people still buy it. don’t get it.

  55. I really like Google Now. It even reminds me of concerts coming up that I don’t even have on my calendar. The traffic feature is super handy. I voted that it needs improvements only because most anything can use improvements but even at this point it’s a great feature. Very handy.

  56. When at home or out locally I’ve seen limited benefits (the usual weather, traffic, etc). However for the past week and a half I’ve been travelling and it provided several impressive moments.

    On the day of each flight it told me the status of the flight with directions and traffic for the airport. I didn’t have to ask for this, it picked the info from my E-Mail confirmations and provided a button to easily access the E-Mail.

    On arriving in a foreign country it showed the currency conversion, nearby attractions and (for the country where English isn’t the primary language) a shortcut to translate words.

    I voted that it’s a great concept but could use improvement. I can’t think of any improvements that Google could make, but it was a more appropriate choice than “everything I hoped for any more”. It is going to keep getting better and keep making Siri look like a gimmick.

  57. In my opinion, S voice is much better for setting up tasks and alarms, getting reminders and a bunch of other stuff. Google Now just seems like something that was hastily put together at the last minute. I do not like it or even use it for anything

  58. it’s a gimmick but at least it isn’t as irritating and blatantly dishonest as a siri ad

  59. Not perfect but e
    Will improve its new give it some time and it will be amazing

  60. It does more than I expected it to at this point, but it still needs work. I too have not been able to get the shipment tracking to trigger, nor flight information, and I haven’t yet found the suggested places useful but I don’t go out to restaurants or bars much. I love the weather updates, the game times and running scores for my favorite team, and some other nifty features. But these are the early days and it will get better rapidly.

  61. Google now needs a widget.

  62. Google Now is a great concept, but needs improvements

  63. I use Google Now on a day to day base. Specially for traveling and checking traffic to work. Using calendar event to add my work location address helps me be more prepared and be on time to work everyday.

    One funny thing I notice which I was excited for is Package tracking from Gmail. At 1st it worked great with Amazons orders. Then recently I order my Google Nexus 4 on Nov 27 and received an email from Google Play Store that my phone was shipped and gave me a tracking number. I quickly opened my Google Now hoping to see a for my package but.. there was nothing there. I tried refreshing nothing happened. I manually checked it after. I tried the next day thinking it might work now.. Still dont show my any card for my package. It is nice feature to have but if their own email order conformation didn’t tiger Google Now I think they forget to do dog feeding on this feature.. Come on Google now your own order conformation dont work with Google Now… Sad….

  64. I think Google Now is without a doubt the best addition to of Jelly Bean but with that being said I agree that it could be so much better with a few improvements. In general I just want MORE cards; I see the weather and the travel times everyday but I’ve heard about sever storm warning and gas price cards but I’ve never seen then. Too much info is better than not enough and also we need a little more audible feedback because that’s what everyone likes to see, a smartphone that understands my questions and talks right back to me. Anyway, Google is still the best and if they continue on this path then they will stay on top. Android forever

  65. I personally think expectations were low, but they are delivering more than I could have thought of. Can’t wait to see where it goes from here. Does it need improvements? Absolutely. It’s a great start though. I wish it was MORE intrusive. :)

  66. My best experience was the bus stop i take to class every day. After about a week it started telling me the schedule for that particular stop. It also was telling me real time if it was delayed or not….and it did it for every class. So it essentially learned my class schedule too. It kind of blew my mind when it happened. It still has a lot of improvements but its a great system.

  67. I really want to love it but it’s lacking in it some areas, mostly down to not being in the US:

    – Flights – Not great if at all for European carriers

    – Saying “Google” to initiate something… nope, US only (even though if I voice search for Google it recognises the word)

    – Sports – Patchy. Might show a card, might not. Premier League cards not as exciting as the US sport ones such as baseball.

    – Some weird directions “Home” (up a adjoining motorway then back again adding 15 minutes to the journey)

    – “What’s this song?” – Not enabled (or the Play Store widget)

    It’s a system with loads of potential that I’m still excited to see, but currently if you’re not in the US or a frequent traveller is a little bit empty.

  68. And couple things I love about Google now. Some of the things amaze me.

    When I search a place on Google. Say I Google the website for a mountain to check the conditions. I decide they are good and get all my gear ready and pick up some friends. I pop open Google now and it already knows I searched for that place and gives me a card with estimated travel time and a navigation button. This is great.

    The package tracking is nice but it usually doesn’t give me much information just a link to get more tracking information and info about the package. Still helpful.

    It gives information when you book a hotel. Usually on the day of check in it let’s you know check in gives you an estimated travel time and a navigate button. Very awesome..

    It is a long way from finished and I have faith Google will continue to blow my mind with new features and controls..

    I just wish it has a scrollable widget so I don’t have to actually open it as an app.

  69. I believe Google Now is intentionally limited while the back-end processing is perfected. Some day I hope to see it offered on pre Android 4.1 devices. That “magic” requires a lot of back-end processing — hence the limited audience and customizable settings, for now. Just today we are seeing hints it may be offered on the desktop in the Chrome browser.

  70. it doesn’t say anything out-loud like in the adds, it also doesn’t do anything but tell me how long the drive is from my house to my apartment and a basic Google search. so thats a big roaring NO it does not live up to my expectations. well at least not outside the US.

  71. This article pretty much sums it up. Most people have a weather widgets on their homescreen somewhere already. Google Now is pretty much just duplication (yea, it made me remove my weather widget which i kinda liked though).

    -I’d like to ask it “What does my schedule look like for Saturday?” like you can with Siri. More human-like questions and responses like that.

    -I do like the nearby places, living in NYC it’s great, but it should be greatly improved with Zagat reviews, more results, and it’s kind of an ugly card to begin with, it should be redesigned.

    -Grabbing tickets and such from email would be good too if it works as well as that iOS app promised.

    -I think Google should focus on performance/memory (it runs slow on my single core phone at least) and better functionality.

    -Also, I hope Android 4.1 continues to get updates now that 4.2 and beyond is out. Hell, the iPhone 5 has better Google Now support than my phone.

  72. “Google’s traffic widget doesn’t allow you to choose your method of transportation beyond driving or public transit”—- Its a TRAFFIC widget..for roads, not sidewalks….


    This is an average day. I removed my work/other places – everyone gets that.
    I am always searching, everything is on, and I am always surprised by the cool things that I am seeing with google now.

    The nearby events is AWESOME. and everything is exactly how I would expect it. The walking / biking is something I really haven’t used too much yet, but will when the weather gets better.

  74. yeah…for me too…this is the worst google app as i ever used…or maybe iam living boring life…who knows :)

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