Google Now lets you call friends and family without naming names

February 11, 2014
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An update to Google Now came today, and it’s got some neat functionality to it. In Google Now, you can say things like “Call Mom”, and Google will dial her up for you. Keeping with the contextual aspect of Now, and learning capabilities it has built in, this update could be really handy.


Just by launching Google Now (however you do, there are various ways on various devices) and utilizing the microphone, you simply give the command and it performs. It’s handy for those times when you don’t want to dig through contacts, or are in a spot where you can’t think straight. It’s easy to us, but what if you Google doesn’t know who your Mom is?

It’s not a problem at all that Google doesn’t yet know who you’re trying to call. If you ask to call someone you’ve not yet designated a role to, Google Now will ask just who you’re talking about via a pop-up card. By selecting the person and number you wish to call, Google will default to that for next time you’re barking orders. It's also opt-in, and you'll be prompted the first time you use it to involve yourself or not.

We’ve played with it a bit, and have found it to work with family, but outside of that it's hit and miss. We tried commands like “Call Mother In Law” and got nowhere. Others, like "Call Boss", worked fine. This is likely just he first iteration of the feature we’ll see, so future updates will likely fix this issue. A handy tweak for Google Now, but with a dwindling number of calls being made in lieu of data consumption, it might not be a widely used feature.


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  • Martin

    And when are we going to start seeing the ability to write our own cards? This whole “,Google Now added an XYZ card,” seems crazy when we could be writing our own.

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Nate Swanner

      I’m curious what you mean by “writing your own”. Are you saying a back-end HTML5 solution is necessary, or just a method to create your own via some end-user solution?