Alongside Android M, Google today revealed a new update to Google Now that’ll be included with the update.
With “Now on Tap,” Google Now will be able to answer your questions without needing context. In the demo shown by Google, the user was listening to a Skrillex song in Spotify and wanted to know what Skrillex’s real name is. The user then held down the Home button on the phone and asked “What’s his real name?” Google Now understood the context of the question and provided the answer (Sonny John Moore, if you’re curious).
Additionally, Google Now on Tap can understand content in messages and provide information on what’s in them without you asking for help. An email shown by Google asked the user if she’d like to go see Tomorrowland. To learn more about the movie, the user just held down the Home button and was presented with a link to a YouTube trailer, IMDB cast info, and a Rotten Tomatoes score. In another example, the user was in Viber and was asked about dinner reservations and asked to pick up dry cleaning. After holding down the Home button, Google Now brought up information about the restaurant, including links to Navigation, Phone, Yelp, and OpenTable. Google Now also added a reminder to pick up the dry cleaning. All of that was done without asking Google Now for anything.
Google Now on Tap looks like a major expansion of Google Now, which is already a powerful tool. With Now on Tap, Google Now can provide you information without context and even without you speaking to it. Google says Now on Tap doesn’t require any modifications to an app, so you should be able to use it once you get on Android M, which is launching in Q3 2015.