Friday, March 15, 2013

Google Now will Rock Your World!

So, I got a new phone. I had really adored my previous phone, the HTC Sensation, but it was two years old and you know how it is. If technology development is fast in laptops, it's at dizzying speeds in mobile. So, I was ready for a new one.

I like iOS and Android both and use an ipad, but for my phone, I prefer Android, for reasons I may lay out in another post in the future. I had been eye-balling the Nexus 4 because it's pure Android. (See video at bottom of post) What do I mean by pure? For those of you unfamiliar with Android, let me explain. Since Android is open-source, many different manufacturers use the operating system for their phones. But rather than leave the software alone, they add a "skin" on top of it to customize it to their particular vision. Samsung has a skin called TouchWiz (not a fan), HTC has Sense (very nice), Motorola had MotoBlur (now defunct due to massive criticism), etc. Also, carriers like to add their own apps, and we call this "bloatware." Anyhoo, when Google came out with their own phone (manufactured by LG) that you can buy directly from them with no skin and no bloatware, it thrilled the masses.

It's Android as it was meant to be. And it's amazing. It combines top of the line hardware sand Jelly Bean software in one phone, which makes it hands-down the best Android phone to date.  I took some pictures, so check them out here. (Click on slideshow)

But now I'm off track. This post is about Google Now, which is included with any phone on Jelly Bean. At this point it's mostly just the Nexus 4, but other phones will upgrade soon and all new Android phones coming out will be on it as well. Google Now is initiated by simply swiping up on ANY screen, including the lock screen.

You can click the mic to ask it stuff, like Siri. But the answers will typically be more comprehensive, since Google Maps is used, as well as Google Search results, Gmail and more.

But the real beauty of it is that you don't have to ASK anything for it to continually supply you with  needed information in a timely manner. For example, I ordered something from Amazon and later that day, when gmail emailed the tracking number, it popped up in Google Now, (see above photo) so then I can simply click "track package" to see when it will arrive.

If you're traveling somewhere, your hotel or flight information will pop up when you need it. Your calendar items will show there too. All these tidbits who up in little cards that you can either leave there or swipe away if you're finished with them. You can also customize which cards you want to use. For example: nearby events, sports scores, traffic, weather, translation, currency, etc. It uses your location, calendar, gmail, etc. to customize what you need WHEN you need it! Seriously. It's super cool!

I cannot explain as well as this video below. Check it out!

For more go here.

Check out this video for more Nexus 4 goodness: