Get Google Now on your (rooted) Android 4.0 phone

If you're running an Ice Cream Sandwich ROM, here's how to load Google's Siri competitor onto your smartphone.

Google Now is the Mountain View, Calif.-based monolith's apparent answer to Apple's Siri -- a voice assistant that responds to requests for information and other commands, while also trying to anticipate what bits of data you might want by digging into your search history and other interactions with the Googleverse. It's a buzz-worthy feature available only on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean , which is only on Google's new Nexus 7 tablet and some lucky updated Galaxy Nexus phones.

At least, that was the only way to get it a week ago.

It didn't take long for the community on the XDA developers forum to come up with a port to bring Google Now to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices, with one caveat -- you need to have a rooted device running an Android 4.0 AOSP ROM like CyanagenMod. In other words, if you're running Ice Cream Sandwich on an unrooted phone from the one of the carriers, it's not going to work for you.

But if you have or are willing to take the risk of rooting your phone and loading such a ROM (Read Only Memory) onto it, you could run one of the most intriguing new Android features in a while that seems to put Google one step closer to becoming Skynet .

You can download the APK file to load onto your rooted phone, and the always helpful folks at Lifehacker have also drafted some step-by-step instructions for the port.

Let us know in the comments if you've managed to get Google Now onto your phone and what you think so far. I'd be especially curious to know from all you obsessive schedulers out there if the application provides you with a surgeon general's warning when an alert pops up to remind you of the smoke break you programmed into your Google Calendar: "Jerry, it's time for your smoke break, but you should know that Menthols cause lung cancer, too..."

 

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