Google recently updated Search to allow for a more unified approach to voice activations. When under the auspice of Google Now, users have become accustomed to saying “Google” before executing a voice search. We’ll now be able to add “Ok, Google” to our repertoire, though the traditional “Google” still works fine.
This brings the search function in line with other Google products, most notably Google Glass, in which wearers say “Ok, Glass”. This is also reminiscent of the Moto X, and their touchless control interface which allows us to say “Ok, Google Now” to wake the device from its slumber.
The information displayed may also be a bit different. When asking about a popular personality or entity, Google’s new card-based interface will show you Wikipedia info about that person or company before getting into the web results. I ran Google Now through its paces, just to see how robust it was. I searched for Lady GaGa (don’t judge me!) and was greeted with her Wikipedia entry in card form, then a list of web results. Google even read me the byline to her page, so be sure not to search for something embarrassing in public, unless you’re comfortable with the world knowing about your pop culture addiction.
It got a bit interesting when I searched for more obscure topics. I also did a search for the elusive Daft Punk duo, and was simply told who the members are. Searching for CyanogenMod gave me a quick byline and list of obscure devices they support, and I was pleased that Google easily recognized them, even though the voice reading it back pronounced it very different. Search for HTC, and you’ll get a listing above the Wikipedia entry, which is clearly marked “ad”. That one raised an eyebrow.
If you forget (or just aren’t aware yet) all that Google Now can do for you, just say “Ok, Google” when it’s listening, and the service will give you a list of cards designed to help you understand how sublime Google Now can be. Set reminders, send messages, even check up on Lady Gaga(!). The update is rolling out now, so be on the lookout for it on your device soon.