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Google Now for Android adds cards for live TV, voice actions for music playback

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google now music cards
google now music cards

Google Search for Android has been updated to take advantage of various new Google Now cards, including one for live TV. According to the company, if you've got an internet-connected TV, Android is now capable of "listening" for live programming when connected to the same wireless network as your television. Google says the added feature helps "unlock more information about what you’re watching" including cast and crew background. "If you were watching Nik Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon this weekend, with Google Now, you could learn that the 'King of the Wire' in fact holds seven Guinness World Records," is one example given in a Google+ blog post on the update.

Also new today, users can tell Google Now to play music from their library, the Google Play Store, or third-party apps like Pandora and Spotify. You'll be prompted to choose your preferred listening app (YouTube among them) the first time you speak aloud a music request. Results were mixed in our brief trial; Now understood and played artists like Kanye West and Justin Timberlake without hesitation, but couldn't play music from The National on demand. Still, when it works, the functionality far exceeds what Apple's Siri is capable of. Finally, Google says Now will automatically remind you of and display any saved Google Offers whenever you're near a retail location where those deals can be redeemed.

Update: The "new" music functionality added to Now with today's update seems to revolve around the Google Play store. Google's store can now be selected as an option for streaming music — useful for those who've subscribed to Google Music All Access.