Google Now has Siri in its sights, adds voice reminders and deeper search integration

Google Now Cards

Google has updated its Google Now app and demonstrated the alterations on stage during the Google I/O keynote presentation. Introduced with the reminder that Google Now gets better the more you use it, it was appropriate that the first new feature to be added is reminders. These can be set in the app, and show up as a card and notification at the relevant time.

As handy as reminders will be, the new public transport cards are even more so. Not only will it provide timings, but up-to-date, real-time information too, including alerts on closures or cancellations. Google has also added recommendation cards for music, TV shows, books, and video games, which are based on your search history, so results should be vaguely relevant. In a Siri-challenging move, Google has added voice reminders for Google Now. Just like Apple’s personal assistant, you speak your request – make a call, buy milk, that sort of thing – to the app and it’ll add a card for you.

However, the voice recognition doesn’t stop at reminders. Google Now is evolving into a more versatile assistant thanks to a new conversational search system added to Chrome. You wake up the search by saying, “OK Google,” and through location services, Google’s Knowledge Graph, and Google Search, you can ask it to give you directions, the distance to a nearby place, get details on upcoming trips, and even search for photos stored in your Google account. This is where Google’s advice of using Google Now more to make it more relevant comes to the forefront, as all these features will be monitored, resulting in a better (or more frightening, depending on your viewpoint) experience. To get the photo- and email-relevant results in Google Now, such as trips or appointments, you’ll need to be signed up for the trial version of Gmail’s field search system.

All the new Google Now features and cards are available in the Android app right now, so check for an update if you already have it installed. Google Now has only just been added to the iOS Google Search app, so it’s still in its early days, and, unsurprisingly, no details on when the features would be added to it was shared.


Too close to call: Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus vs LG G7 ThinQ camera shootout

We take the LG G7 ThinQ and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to Rome for a camera shootout, photographing everything from the amazing local sights to an impressive showjumping event. How do these two excellent phones compare?

The Google Pixel 3 smartphone may arrive dressed in pink

Forget the Pixel 2: Google will announce its latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, on October 9 in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Smart Home

OK, Google, what can you do? Tips and tricks for the Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.

Google tried to kill ‘www,’ until Chrome users protested the change

Google is on a warpath with URLs, but critics forced Google to continue displaying the "www" and "m" portion of a URL in Chrome's search bar, but Google announced that this will once again change in Chrome 70.

Inbox is out — Google to shut down experimental email app in March 2019

Google's Inbox app is shutting down in March 2019. The web giant said the app had been useful for trying out new features to make email more efficient, but that it now wanted to focus entirely on improving Gmail.

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Product Review

The Suunto 9 multisport watch has the stamina to outlast even you

The Suunto 9 offers an astounding 120 hours of continuous tracking thanks to its intelligent battery modes and FusedTrack "GPS without GPS" tracking. We put the Suunto 9 through its paces to find out how well these features work.

Handy iOS 12 tips and tricks to master Apple's latest update

Apple's iOS 12 mobile operating system introduces a ton of new features, with more options to help boost productivity. But updating to it can be overwhelming, so we're here to make it easier with some iOS 12 tips and tricks.

WatchOS 5 is now available -- here's everything we know so far

Months after Apple announced its latest software at WWDC, you can now download WatchOS for the Apple Watch. WatchOS 5 brings a number of new features including new watch faces and improved health tracking.

Report: President Trump to spare Apple from tariffs on Chinese goods

According to a new report, Apple and other tech firms may be spared from the Trump administration's upcoming tariffs on Chinese goods. While devices like the Apple Watch were on a preliminary list, they have reportedly been removed.

Instagram’s shopping stickers for businesses see wide rollout

As the Stories format continues to grow, Instagram is allowing users to shop the items inside a Stories photo or video. Instagram recently expanded stickers that let people shop inside a Story by tapping on the sticker.

Will your carry-on fit in that overhead bin? Kayak’s new AR tool can tell you

Don't break out the tape measure just yet -- a new augmented reality tool inside the Kayak app can help determine if your bag meets carry-on requirements. After measuring the bag, the app compares it to your airline's requirements.
Social Media

A lot less clutter! Twitter relaunches purely chronological timeline

If you still miss the reverse-chronological timeline that Twitter ditched two years ago and you're fed up with all of the extra algorithmic tweets appearing in your feed, there's now a way to return it to how it used to be.

Withings reclaims its brand with the new Steel HR Sport hybrid watch

After repurchasing itself from Nokia, Withings is back with the new Steel HR Sport fitness tracker. The hybrid sports watch may look familiar, but any resemblances to Nokia's Steel HR are only skin-deep.