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Google Now and Voice Search features

Since the initial inclusion of Google Voice Search into Android, a lot has changed. Google has included a lot of useful commands that you can activate just with your voice on any Android device. Since voice recognition is getting frighteningly accurate, it is not unreasonable to try controlling your spy on any cell phone free with just your voice anymore. With Android Wear devices becoming more and more popular, you hardly even need to take your phone out of your pocket to get a lot out of it.

Google has also put a lot of work into Google Now, which is designed to analyze your activity to figure out what information you might want, even before you know you want it.

Some features of Voice Search are about time management. You can speak to Google Voice Search like it is a human, saying “wake me up at 7” or “remind me to preheat the oven when I get home”. Since it has great integration with Google Calendar, it can also be used to create events on your calendar or retrieve an agenda for a particular day.

You can use Google Voice Search to send or access messages with your friends. Telling it to call or text someone is seamless, and it will parse your words to send full text messages. You can speak to your phone to see text messages from friends instead of using the touch screen interface to do the same thing. This integration is not limited just to text messages. Google Voice Search will also let you send emails and Hangouts messages or post to Google+.

Google Voice search will give you information right when you need it. Ask when Teddy Roosevelt died, and you’ll get an answer. It can translate words, convert currencies or units, and tell you the time or weather anywhere in the world. Google will solve math problems for you, define words, and calculate tips.

If you need directions to a new place on the fly, Google Voice Search has you covered. It can also manage your media. Ask it to play you a song or an artist, or ask it to identify a song you’re listening to. You can also use it to watch movies, read books, or search for images with Google Image Search.

Google Voice search also gives you extra control over your device. You can speak to turn WiFi on or off, to enable or disable Bluetooth, to take a picture or video, or even to turn the phone’s flashlight on or off.

Google Now does its best to suggest these actions even if you aren’t sure you need them. It will suggest events near you related to your interests. If you search for a stock or sports team, it will gladly give you updates on its performance without being prompted. Now delivers news stories based on your browsing and search history.

Now can even offer to give you driving directions for periodic events you do not have in your Google Calendar. If you drive to the same place every Monday, Google will let you know a few hours in advance on Mondays what traffic is looking like. If you have specified an event on your Google Calendar with a start time, Now will tell you without being prompted when you should leave to show up on time, based on traffic conditions. In a similar vein, if it notices you tend to seek updates to a particular webcomic, Now will notify you with updates when the webcomic is updated.

It is sometimes a little scary how much Google knows about your life. If this bothers you, you should stay away from Google’s data collection services in general. But if you are willing to embrace how much Google knows, you might as well give it the opportunity to help you out as much as it can.