Google unveils Google Now, updates Android voice search with Siri-like features

During the company’s Google I/O developer conference on Wednesday, Google announced updates to Android search that brings Siri-like functionality to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-powered smartphones. Users with phones running Jelly Bean will be able to speak questions rather than just search terms and Android will return answers to those questions. The new functionality presents users with spoken information just as Apple’s Siri solution does, removing the need to spend time looking through Web search results and clicking through websites.

Google Now was also unveiled on Wednesday, which uses search history and navigation history to present users with information that is custom-tailored to their needs. For example, Google Now will learn a user’s commute and and monitor data that might be useful. So, for example, when a user arrives at the train station each morning, Android 4.1 will inform them of when their next train is scheduled to arrive.

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