The arrival of the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 sure instilled in us some renewed interest in Google Now, both due to the new placement in the launcher and the “hotword detection” that lets you begin a search just by saying “OK Google.” Then last week we heard a rumor that a new feature-packed Now update was on its way, set to debut sometime this week. Well sure enough, last night Google announced a Search update that would deliver some new Now cards, but we’re not sure it’s quite the update we were expecting.
What’s new? Google’s introducing a few new card types, including one that can keep you up to date on the latest postings at your favorite website (*cough* Pocketnow *cough*). There’s also one that can dig up recent news stories on specific subjects, and a “what to watch” card that generates TV and movie recommendations. We also hear about new support for rugby scores, package tracking, the integration of real-time Waze traffic data.
It all sounds great, expect there’s no mention of the voice-based clarifications nor the sort of integration with other apps that we heard described in last week’s rumor. Considering how interesting those seemed, we hope they’re still on the table and will just be coming later.
Update: Niiiice. We’re learning that those rumored voice prompts to clarify actions are present, after all. Google, stop selling yourself short – when you’ve got a new feature, brag about it!