Just two days ago, the Google Now widget was spotted on one of Google's support pages, though not much information was revealed. The Google Search app for Android has been updated for Jelly Bean devices that now officially brings the new widget for the home screen and the lock screen. Jelly Bean users can head over to Google Play and download the updated app now.
Furthermore, there are several new Google Now cards that are also available to make the Search experience for Android users even more enjoyable. Of course, as a user, you need to share various details about yourself with Google to experience this Android Jelly Bean exclusive feature.
The new cards include support from various new third parties such as Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes or Zillow. Movie cards now include the latest ratings from Rotten Tomatoes while users can purchase their movie tickets through Fandango. Google Now will accordingly remind you when you need to leave for the theatre and provide a QR code for the tickets so they can be scanned in at theaters upon your arrival. Users can access nearby real estate listings via Zillow with more in depth information.
US users will also see a music button when a song is playing and they're in voice mode. The widget has also added support for college sports in the US.
As of now, the widget displays the day's weather in your area, how much traffic you can expect while commuting to your home or workplace, the last place you searched for directions in Google Maps, stock exchange info, sports scores, calendar appointments and other relevant information.
Apart from this, the update has also enhanced functionality of the existing Google Now cards. One such example is users can now specify their mode of transportation used for travelling such as Walking, Car, and Public Transit etc.
The announcement that came via a Google blog post mentioned, "When Google Now first launched last summer, we promised it was just the beginning, and it would continue to get better at delivering you more of the information you need, before you even ask. This is the fourth update since launch, and we're just getting started!"
Here's a look at what's new in Google Now for Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean):
- Google Now widget for home screen or lock screen
- Movie passes from Fandango
- Movies now includes ratings from Rotten Tomatoes
- Real estate listings from Zillow when in the market for a home
- Music button when a song is playing in voice mode (US only)
- Support for US college sports