Google, Now on Tap

Marshmallow, the latest release of Android (6.0), is keeping the competition with Apple iOS alive well and strong. The Android update was available to consumers this week, and the software seems to have met users’ expectations and more. One of the most looked forward to details was the upgrading of Google Now , Google’s search engine and personal assistant combined , to Google Now on Tap.

What is so special about Google Now on Tap? Apple’s newest upgrades to Siri may just fall short here. Google Now relies on crowd-sourced intelligence to give you the most relevant and up-to-date information that you need no matter where you are in your phone. Originally Google Now was great for setting up reminders, pulling up flight info from emails, maps and traffic information, calendar events, and so on. Using the voice trigger “Ok Google” is also highly useful for hands-free interaction.

You can access Google Now by swiping left of the home screen to see a wealth of information that is of interest to you: news headlines, upcoming events, map directions to your destination, weather etc. Now you no longer need to leave the app you are working in to get intelligent suggestions and answers to your queries. Google Now on Tap works by holding down your Home screen , this should work for Android devices that have touchscreen home buttons as well as those with a physical home button. Google Now will slide up a card with extra information to suggest what action you might want to take next based on the text you had on your screen.

This feature is wonderfully versatile and useful. Whether you are in messaging or email, the mention of an address and date will activate a suggestion for adding an event to your calendar. If you had a location like a restaurant mentioned on your app, Now on Tap will suggest links for reading reviews of the restaurant, locating it in Google Maps or prompting you to make a call for a reservation.

Google Now on Tap also suggests quick shifts to other phone applications that it deems useful to you. Reading about a celebrity? Now on Tap will suggest you open Twitter or Instagram apps so you can browse their social network profiles without having to leave your current app and searching for the app on your own. Voice control lets you ask questions with he, she or their pronoun use and smartly identifies from your screen who or what you are talking about. And then of course it rapidly answers your queries, too.

Google Now on Tap is definitely one of the best features of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, providing contextual prompts and guessing your next move before you may have even thought of it. It helps streamline and speed up our searching and processing of information, while pointing us towards using all of Google’s widely popular apps like Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube, because Google Now has linked them all together even more tightly.

Tradebox Media are an award-winning software development agency based in Cardiff, UK.