Google Now expands again with car rentals, concert tickets, NCAA football scores, and more
Google Now just received another update, adding more types of information to spit back at Android users.
The virtual assistant, which launched last summer, aims to provide useful information without you even having to ask for it. For instance, it can keep you informed on sports scores, tell you when to leave for your next meeting and pull up boarding passes when you get to the airport.
The latest update adds new cards for car rentals and concert tickets, so you can have your reservation details and digital ticket stub handy when you arrive.
Google is also beefing up public transit cards for people who frequently take the bus or train, warning them about the last ride home for the night. And when you're on the way home, a new commute sharing card lets you share your arrival time and progress with loved ones via Google+.
A couple other new additions are focused on entertainment: If you're watching TV, you can tap on the TV card or say “listen to TV,” and Google will offer program information and list any music playing on the show. For news programs, Google can also provide links to more details. Also, if you're searching for musicians, actors, filmmakers and TV shows on Google, a “remind me” button will appear, and Google Now will tell you about new albums, books and episodes later.
Finally, Google is adding support for NCAA football in its sports scores, just in time for the start of the season.
Google also updated its Keep note-taking application to include time and location-based reminders. Those reminders will then appear in Google Now. However, Google Now Reminders as a whole are still in need of improvement; unlike the Reminders app in iOS, you still can't set recurring reminders, or reminders based on when you leave a location rather than arriving at one.
For new users, it's best to go into Settings, tap on “Google Now” and be aggressive about disabling things that you might not want. As Google continues to add more types of information Google Now, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.
If you're not using Google Now already, you can switch it on through the Google Search app on phones and tablets running Android 4.1 or higher. A version of Google Now is available for iOS as well, but the new features haven't made their way over to iPhones and iPads just yet.