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How to Use Google Now on Your Android Tablet

Don’t worry about your Android tablet controlling too much of your life: It harbors no insidious intelligence, and the Robot Revolution is still years away. Until then, you can use the tablet’s listening abilities to enjoy the feature called Google Now. It’s not quite like having your own personal Jeeves, but it’s on its way.

The preferred method to summon Google Now is to swipe your finger upward from the bottom center of the touchscreen. This technique is supposed to work on the lock screen, the Home screen, or in any app, although your tablet may not support that technique. Otherwise, you can touch the Google Search widget to start Google Now or open the Google app in the Apps drawer.

Below the Search text box, you’ll find cards. The variety and number of cards depend on how often you use Google Now. Though you can’t manually add cards, the more the app learns about you, the more cards appear.

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You can use Google Now to search the Internet, just as you would use Google’s main web page. More interestingly than that, you can ask Google Now questions.

One way to have a lot of fun is to use Google Now app verbally: Say “Okay, Google.” Say it out loud. Any time you see the Google Now app, the tablet is listening to you. Or, when the tablet is being stubborn, touch the Microphone icon.

You can speak simple search terms, such as “Find pictures of Megan Fox.” Or you can give more complex orders, among them:

  • Will it rain tomorrow?

  • What time is it in Frankfurt, Germany?

  • How many euros equals $25?

  • What is 103 divided by 6?

  • How can I get to Disneyland?

  • Where is the nearest Canadian restaurant?

  • What’s the score of the Lakers–Celtics game?

  • What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

When asked such questions, Google Now responds with a card and a verbal reply. When a verbal reply isn’t available, you see Google search results.

You can also use Google Now to verbally control your tablet. To use the camera, say “Okay, Google, take a picture” or “Okay, Google, record a video.” Future versions of Google Now may offer additional spoken commands.

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