How To Install Google Now Without Needing Jelly Bean
Google Now is just one of many improvements to the Android experience that Google is introducing in Jelly Bean, but it’s easily one of the most impressive. Our experiments with it found it quite adept at smartly answering our questions, and with voice search it really gives Siri a run for its money. If you’re not planning on picking up a Nexus 7 tablet right out of the gate, or simply don’t want to wait the additional weeks until yours arrives, there are now a couple tricks you can use to get Now running on an Ice Cream Sandwich device.
The first means of getting Google Now to work with ICS is a little involved, requiring root, multiple edits to build.prop, and some file renaming. It’s nothing too complicated, but if you don’t want to risk any missteps, you’ll be glad to see that a simpler option is also available. For that, you’ll install a modified Google Now package, already configured to ignore the fact that you’re not running Jelly Bean.
Even with Now running, things aren’t quite perfect. The voice component of the search reportedly isn’t working at the moment, putting a bit of a damper on how interested you may be to install it. Then there are other errors users are running into, concerning network connectivity and an inability to gracefully exit the app. There’s also the issue of ROM choice to consider, with pure AOSP-based builds causing the fewest problems.
This is clearly a work-in-progress, but if you’re interested in seeing what’s possible right now, hit up the XDA thread for all the instructions and download links you’ll need.