To borrow a cliché, it’s like Google Now on steroids. It’s called Now On Tap, and Google announced it this morning at Google I/O, the company’s annual conference for developers.
Google’s Aparna Chennapragada, the product director for Google Now (who’s speaking at SMX Advanced next week, by the way), says her team has focused on a three-prong approach for Now On Tap: understanding context, providing answers and helping users take action.
Google Now already does that, but the idea behind Now On Tap is to make it smarter and faster, and make it work (almost) anywhere on your Android smartphone. Now On Tap will be accessible by tapping and holding the phone’s Home button — that’ll bring up Google Now cards whether you’re in an app or using your mobile browser.
Chennapragada shared a few specific use cases of how Now On Tap works:
“When you tap and hold on the Home button,” Chennapragada said, “you’re telling Google Now, ‘here’s something I need help with.'”
The Now On Tap cards are Google’s best guess at the information you want based on what you’re doing. If the cards don’t provide what you need, Now On Tap also lets you say “Okay Google” from any screen or app to ask a specific question.
Chennapragada said Now On Tap is part of the upcoming Android M operating system which will be released to consumers later this year. Developers don’t need to do anything new to have their apps work with Now On Tap, as long as the apps are being indexed by Google.
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