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If you've been following my weekly Official Smartphone Rankings™ each week, you've likely discovered that I absolutely love the HTC One X. It has been my #1 choice since it launched back in May, and not even the Samsung Galaxy S III has been enough to sway me in any other direction. It is my top choice in phone, and it's there to stay for the foreseeable future.

From the inside out, I love what HTC has done with the One series; they dug deep to get back to their roots and focus more on what matters, quality over quantity, performance and durability.

Granted, there are some aspects of each One device that could definitely be improved upon (like the cameras, for instance). I explained back in June that there is no perfect 10 consumer device … and there may never be one, for all we know. In my opinion, however, the HTC One X is the closest thing to perfect for me and my needs. I prefer its S-LCD2 720p display over the HD Super AMOLED on the Galaxy S III. I prefer the unibody design over a cheap, lightweight and flimsy plastic chassis. And I can live with Sense UI, whereas TouchWiz has always been one of my least favorite Android customizations.

While I could definitely go for some more storage space and battery life at times, I thoroughly enjoy the One X and have been, for the most part, content with it since day one. (I say "for the most part" because the first unit I received had a dud battery. Ever since replacing it, I have been thoroughly happy with it and its battery life.)

That said, last month, I asked whether software or hardware is more important. I explained that I have had a terrible time choosing between the Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean and the One X with Ice Cream Sandwich, Sense-flavored. The consensus I came to back then was that software ultimately won. While I would much rather choose the hardware on the One X, I found myself erring on the side of the Nexus due to its stock Android 4.1 software.

When I started the Voice Input Challenge, though, I chose to carry three handsets: an iPhone 4S, One X and a Galaxy Nexus. I typically only carry two phones with me every day. But I wanted to actively try the two different Android phones since there were some pretty significant changes in dictation software between Android 4.0 and 4.1. After the challenge, I kept my primary AT&T SIM in the One X and started leaving the Galaxy Nexus at home when I set out for the day. (There is simply no need for a third line. A second line is excessive, I will admit. But a third? That's above and beyond, and it's not even convenient.)

Almost immediately, I started to miss one feature of the Galaxy Nexus and Jelly Bean: Google Now.

To be fair, the One X has voice search, which I have been using quite often. But that's not the problem. The problem is that it's not as easily accessible from anywhere within the operating system (a la slide gesture up from the home button), and it's not as feature-packed as the automated personal assistant service dubbed Google Now.

To quickly access Google Now on the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 7, you simply slide your finger up from the home button. Google Now appears and immediately gives you any pertinent information based on time, location, any of your upcoming appointments and the other various things it has learned about you. I don't get that on my One X. I don't get automatic traffic reports for my commute home every day. I don't get weather updates each time I go for a Google search. And I don't get results nearly as fast or in such a consumable, easy-to-understand (card) format.

It may seem like a petty complaint. But I seriously miss Google Now when I'm using my One X. I have become attached to how quick and painless Google Now and the Google voice search in Android 4.1 are. Over the weekend, Evan asked, "If you had to choose, would you pick Google Now or Siri?" The fact that I'm consistently switching back to an older phone to continue using Google Now while I have had Siri at my side all along and haven't cared to use it is a pretty clear testament to where I stand. And it should serve well as a testament to the power of Google Now.

To be clear, I could hack and mod my One X to retrofit it with Google Now. But that's neither the point or something I'm willing to do at this time. The point is: I have one of the newest Android smartphones available and there will likely be another four or so months before the One X (or any other high-end Android phone, for that matter) officially receives the Jelly Bean update. And thus, it will be the same amount of time before I have Google Now officially on my One X. That's a shame considering the usefulness and potential of Google Now.

I'm not sure what I will end up doing in the end, but I still find myself trying to balance the two devices on a single line. Carrying three devices every day is not the answer and neither is switching back and forth every couple days. But I'm having trouble coping without Google Now. And likewise, I'm having trouble settling with the hardware of the Galaxy Nexus.

Google Now may not be one of my favorite Android features … yet. But the power of voice input is definitely one that is continually growing in importance, and Google Now is undoubtedly one of the more impressive context aware voice search utilities to surface of late.

Tell me, ladies and gentlemen. Is voice search all that important to you? Do you find yourself growing attached to Google's voice search? Siri? Google Now? Do you miss your voice search of choice when it's unavailable? Have you changed phones (or respective software) just to get a taste of the latest voice input tech?


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29 Reactions to this post

"Have you used Google Now?"


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Christien Quiles
Christien Quiles yes
Branden Mathew Hooper
Branden Mathew Hooper Yes. It's awesome.
Nicholas Ether
Nicholas Ether EVERYONE. JUST ROOT YOUR PHONES AND FOLLOW DROID DOG's ARTICLE ABOUT HOW TO INSTALL GOOGLE NOW ON ICS.It works really well. And I doubt it will ever come to the gs3 because it makes s voice useless
Matthew Dooley
Matthew Dooley @Ismael when Jelly Bean comes out it will be on the SIII
Jannis Anderson
Jannis Anderson Yeah... nexus jb
Ismael Mesquita
Ismael Mesquita Not available for the SGS3
Akash Sukhija
Akash Sukhija On my Nexus S... Its crazy.... A great competitor to Siri!!!!
Nicholas Ether
Nicholas Ether Just root it and install jb or Google now for ics
Luis Robles Figueroa
Luis Robles Figueroa No cause my device doesn't supported. HTC One S stock running ICS 4.0 and Sense 4.0
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Google now is already more useful than Siri ever was
Jesse Huertas
Jesse Huertas Love it so far on my GNex. I also rooted my cousin's SGS2 and put Google Now on it, she loves it as well. I personally want more interaction and "smartness" to it. Some of it alluded to above.
Brady Wassam
Brady Wassam I want to run chainfire3d but it's not compatible with jb on my gnex. Thinking of going back to ics for it but i don't wanna lose google now
Susan Hugus
Susan Hugus I like Google Now and want more useful cards. 1. No real interest in sports. 2. Book suggestions from a public library. 3. Wikipedia card showing info about a place with its link to its website. 4. Instant emergency numbers when in an area. 5. Local news. 6. Better transit information since bus info is listed for the wrong direction.
Nain El Fuego Romero
Nain El Fuego Romero Jelly Bean On my white gnex <3
Mitch Toland Jr.
Mitch Toland Jr. I use it daily on my Gnex...very useful for me much more so than siri when I had the iPhone
Joe Pimental
Joe Pimental it is if you get cyanogen mod 10 (jelly bean 4.1). i got it on my quad core one x n is grea!
Kristopher Davis
Kristopher Davis Have it on my EVO LTE, simple install.
Marko Teullet
Marko Teullet Can't see google now in store is it available for one x ?
Paul Gonzalez
Paul Gonzalez Have it on my ics sensation. I use it much more than I thought I would
Nick Chimento
Nick Chimento No because I'm still on Gingerbread -_-
Frank Porter
Frank Porter If you miss Google Now so much, then port it to your phone or flash a Jellybean Rom and have it in all it's glory. Otherwise, quit your bitching. The choice is rather simple.
Scott Madera
Scott Madera yes running it on my droid razr maxx with eclipse 1.2 rom pretty nice
Allan Blaabjerg Lange
Allan Blaabjerg Lange Haven't got Jelly Bean on my Galaxy Nexus yet :( y u so slow to update EU devices Google??
Jody M Clegg
Jody M Clegg I have it on the Google Nexus 7 but haven't used it much yet.
Nick Kathrein
Nick Kathrein Seems Aug 29th 4.1 may come to the S3. Not sure if that is international or U.S. versions but if it's true that is great!
David Juarez
David Juarez Galaxy nexus jb
Zachary Williams
Zachary Williams Yep. Running it on my Captivate. It's pretty great.
Shanard D. Seabrooks
Shanard D. Seabrooks Yes, But I Don't Have A Smartphone
Enes Nadir Çomoglu
Enes Nadir Çomoglu Got it on my Gnex running Jelly Bean :P




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