20 Google Now tips every Android user should know

Google Now can do more than let you search by voice. Here are a bunch of ways to turn it into the ultimate personal assistant.

Sharon Profis
As the Vice President of CNET Studios, Sharon leads the video, social, editorial design, and branded content teams. Before this role, Sharon led content development and launched new verticals for CNET, including Wellness, Money, and How To. A tech expert herself, she's reviewed and covered countless products, hosted hundreds of videos, and appeared on shows like Good Morning America, CBS Mornings, and the Today Show. An industry expert, Sharon is a recurring Best of Beauty Awards judge for Allure. Sharon is an avid chef and hosts the cooking segment 'Farm to Fork' on PBS nationwide. She's developed and published hundreds of recipes.
Sharon Profis
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Set up relationships

When texting or emailing with Google Now, you can skip proper names and use shortcuts like, "Text my mom" or "Email my manager." But first, you'll need to establish those relationships.

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Be super specific

Google Now understands very specific commands combining two or more factors. For example, try asking for the weather on a specific day.

You can also ask to play a song by a specific artist.

The personal assistant can even understand complicated commands like, "Remind me to turn on the air conditioning when I get home." Google will then create a location-based reminder.

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Dude, where's my car?

By interpreting when you've stopped driving, Google Now will pinpoint your parking location and display it as a card.

Here's how it works, and how to manage parking-related settings.

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Use punctuation and smileys

Just because you're dictating an e-mail doesn't mean you have to sacrifice good grammar.

When speaking, just say puctuation like, "Hey comma where are you question mark." You can also say things like "smiley face" or "sad face."

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Give Google Now an accent

If you speak British English, please ignore this.

If you don't, and you want to make your personal assistant sound a little more sophisticated than your friends', change the accent.

You can do so by going to Google Now settings > Voice > Lanuage, and changing the primary language to English (UK).

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Get calendar reminders

As long as you have Google Calendar installed on your device, appointment reminders should appear in Google Now.

Plus, depending on your Google Now traffic alert settings, you may even see suggested departure times (given the appointment has a location defined.)

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Here's the deal with Web History

Not everyone is willing to let Google track and store their Web History (that is everything you've ever searched for on Google). But, if you're willing to share that data with the Goog, Google Now will display cards related to recent searches.

For example, if Google detects a pattern in searches about sea otters, a card will appear in Google Now pointing you to more information about them.

Or, if you tend to read a specific blog (like CNET!), a card will appear when that blog publishes new content.

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It's also basically like Shazam

You can identify any song that's playing by saying, "What am I listening to?" and Google will go into Shazam mode, identifying the song, and giving you the option to purchase it.

This can also be used for live TV. Just say, "Listen to TV" and Now will give your more info about whatever program you're watching.

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What does the fox say? Google Now knows. Just ask it, and you'll get a very audible response.

There are plenty of other Easter eggs. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see them.

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Get immediate turn-by-turn directions

Launch your phone into instant navigation mode by saying, "Driving directions to [location]."

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Get flight status updates

Picking up a friend from the airport? Keep tabs on the flight with a dedicated Google Now card. To enable this, just search for the flight number. The next time you launch Google Now, the card will appear.

Note: Web History must be enabled to use this feature.

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Set an alarm

When you're too drowsy to set an alarm, let Google Now do it. Just say something like, "Wake me up at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow" and the alarm will be set.

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Google Now on your desktop

With Google Chrome Beta, Google Now can be accessed on your desktop. Here's how to set it up.

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Launch apps

Forget digging through the app drawer. Google Now can launch any app when asked nicely.

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Tweet out loud

Want to tweet? Just say "Post to Twitter..." followed by your message. Just remember not to ramble -- you've only got 140 characters.

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Search your phone

Whether it's a specific song you're looking for, a contact, or content from within another app, Google Now can handle it.

Just use the search bar and Google will also search through your phone for data that matches.

You can customize what's included by going to Google Now's settings > Phone Search.

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Customize Google Now

Don't want traffic alerts? Want to see reminders? Decide which cards show up in Now by tapping the wand at the bottom of the interface.

In some cases, disabling options like location-related cards can save your battery.

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Teach Google Now new commands

In typical Android fashion, you can use a third-party app to add even more commands to Google Now. Here's the full step-by-step on how to use Commandr to make Now do things like read new e-mails, lower the ringtone, and even toggle settings.

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Make Google Now get it right

Did Google misunderstand you? You tell 'em! Next time that happens, follow up with "No, I said..." then a correction for whatever word it got wrong.

Check out the photo to see what the process looks like.

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And so much more!

Google Now's features are seemingly endless. Luckily, there's a useful infographic that compiles some of the most prized commands.

Check it out.

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