Google Nexus 4 Support Page Briefly Leaks Google Now Functionality
Google seems to be increasingly touting its Android Jelly Bean-exclusive Google Now feature, and the widget made an appearance on the Nexus 4 support page.
A commercial aired during the Grammys showed Google Now on a Nexus 4 handset, but the widget briefly appeared on a Google support page as well. It was, however, removed quite quickly.
Android Central was the first to spot the Google Now widget on the Google support page, indicating that Android users will be able to add the widget to their home or lock screen. Simply put, the feature displays a summary of current Google Now cards based on a user's preferences.
Users can tap the "+" icon and follow the instructions to add the widget to their lock screen. To add the feature to the home screen, meanwhile, users have to select the "All Apps" icon, then swipe left until they find the widget. From there, touching and holding the widget will activate a Home screen, and users can then drag the widget to the desired location.
It remains unclear for now exactly when the widget will become available and whether or not it will be included in a future update on Google Play. In an interesting twist, the widget reference mentioned the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and the Galaxy Nexus device, but not the Nexus 7 tablet.
In the one-minute commercial Google recently showcased during the Grammy Awards telecast, Google Now showed Nexus 4 users around the world. Whether in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Paris or somewhere else in the world, Nexus 4 users in the ad used their handsets to get real-time updates about their commute, weather, restaurants or on-the-fly transactions.
Google has been touting its Google Now feature on several occasions recently. For instance, a couple of months ago developer Francis Beaufort at Google+ found signs suggesting a Google Now integration with the Chrome Browser, complete with a Notification Center feature. That feature was spotted in the latest build of Chromium, the open-source project that shares code with Google Chrome.
Moreover, Google Now added a new "Boarding Pass card" feature last month, which pulls users' boarding passes automatically from their Gmail's online check-in information.
The Google Now functionality is currently exclusive to Android Jelly Bean, but if Google decides to roll out an update via Google Play, that would make it readily available for carrier phones as well, even if they are an OS version or two behind.