Massive updates to Google Now to come alongside Android 4.4 launch

Nexus 5 Google Now

Google constantly updates Google Now, tweaking small things under the hood, normally without us even knowing it. But with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5, we’ll see some major changes brought to how the app works, which Android and Chrome OS chief Sundar Pichai explained at a press conference this afternoon.

The plan is the seamlessly blend search results with the apps already installed on your device. For example, when searching for a restaurant, instead of Google Now bringing you to the clunky OpenTable mobile site, you’ll have the app opened with exactly what you’re looking for, right then and there. Same goes for the AllRecipes app when looking for recipes, and a select number of apps. The new features should roll out by mid-November, and an API will also be released which will allow all developers to enable their apps for this functionality.

Not only search results features are getting an upgrade— we’re going to see some big advances in speech recognition as well. The Nexus 5 will be able to be woken up by saying “OK, Google,” as is done on the Moto X. Google Now will also ask you questions to clarify your input, such as “which Jennifer?” and “mobile or work?” Google promises that speech recognition will be making 25 percent fewer work errors than last year. Mistakes will also have easy fixes, as you can simply highlight and change the incorrect word.

Accessibility is changing, too. It’s not secret that Google is, first and foremost, a search engine. Therefore, they want you to be able to access Google Now as easily as possible on Android devices. On the Nexus 5, you can pull up the app by swiping to the right on the home screen, or from the bottom of the screen. Location-based suggestions will also be improved, which will integrate apps to help you where you currently are located.

Source: The Verge 


About the Author: Harrison Kaminsky

Harrison is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh completing a major in communication and a minor in economics. Aside from writing for TalkAndroid, he is the managing editor at The Pitt News, a digital marketing intern at Buzzhoney in Pittsburgh, founder and owner of MarketGong.com He's currently using an HTC One (M8) and Nexus 7 (2013). Harrison is excited for the next release of Android, and for whatever the future holds for the tech world. Tweet him at @Harry_Kaminsky.


  • Dave B.

    What are the chances of getting it to actually work? Looked at Now on my N4 last night at 7pm and it still wasn’t aware that a World Series game was starting in an hour. I usually have to open it for it to update.

  • Oli72

    Sounds like UE(user error). Lol

    • Dave B.

      I can’t wait to hear your explanation of how it could be user error

      • Oli72

        Lol dude. Get the Nexus 5.

        • Dave B.

          Just as useful a reply as your first one…

  • Mahmoud Skafi

    say nexus 4 has 4.4, will it be woken up “ok google now” like nexus 5 or does it need specific hardware as moto x x8 processor unit?

    • blix247

      It can’t be woken up from sleep mode. This has been clarified in multiple places. Google’s own materials say it needs to be on the home screen, Giga-Om says it only works when the device is on too.

      Moto X gets to keep its differentiating feature for a little longer :)

    • Benjamen Meiers

      Where are people getting this from? It clearly outlines it needs to be on the launcher or in the Google Now app. (Though I am sure it could be hacked to work)