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Use Google Now to send text messages, e-mail

Because sending a text message or e-mail just by using your voice is fun.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

During Google I/O Google announced some improvements to its Google Now service. One of those improvements -- as we have already covered -- was the ability to create reminders within the app. One other feature we haven't discussed yet is the ability to send a text message or e-mail using Google Now.

Similar to the way Siri works, you're able to give a voice command to Google Now and have a message composed, complete with the recipient of your choosing (so long as they are in your contacts). After Now has filled in all of the required fields for you, you only need to tap a single button to have the message sent.

Before you can send a message with Google Now, you'll need to be sure you've updated the Google Search app to the latest version from the Play store. After you're updated, you can launch Google Now as you normally would on your device and say "Google" to activate the voice commands.

On the left is a composed text message, and on the right is a composed e-mail using Google Now. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Compose an e-mail by giving the command "Send an e-mail to (contact name) saying (body of e-mail)." Should there be more than one e-mail address listed for a contact you'll be prompted to select the address you want to send the message to, and then you'll see a preview of the message before you send it.

The same process is used to send a text message, but you need to replace the word "e-mail" with the words "text message" when giving a voice command. Again, you'll have a chance to preview the message before it's sent to ensure that it's what you intend for the message to say.

Using Google Now to send a short message for you is very convenient. It comes in especially handy if you're driving and need to let someone know you're on your way. You can also type out the same voice command in the Google search bar to send a message, but in the end it's more work (typing) for you than it would be for you to just compose the message through the traditional methods.

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