It’s Friday night and your friend just texted: “Hey, want to go see The Martian this weekend and then grab dinner at The Slanted Door?” Chances are you need to jump through a lot of hoops on your phone to get enough info so you can respond: you may want to find out what the movie’s about and who’s in it, what time it’s playing, where The Slanted Door is, if they serve any vegetarian dishes and whether you can get a reservation.
We built Now on Tap as a step toward taking the hassle out of these types of situations and get you help quickly. We first talked about this new feature at Google I/O, and now it’s here—rolling out over the next few days to Nexus phones and other devices running Marshmallow over time.
So—back to your Friday night plans. With Now on Tap, if you tap and hold down the home button of your Android phone, Google Now will show you quick info about the movie and restaurant and help you jump into the right apps to read reviews, see the menu, and reserve a table. Once you’re done, the back button will take you right back to your messaging app so you can respond to your friend.
Helping you with Friday night plans isn’t the only way Now on Tap can assist you right in the moment, anywhere on your phone. Here are a few other examples:
As you read about the 2016 US elections or Elon Musk’s plans for Mars, simply tap and hold down the home button on your phone: Now on Tap will show you quick facts, and with just a tap you can jump straight to social media or the latest news articles.
When a playlist or station in Google Play Music, Pandora or another music app surprises you with a new song, Now on Tap can give you more info about the artist or band.
Once your phone is updated to Android Marshmallow, just tap and hold down the home button to give Now on Tap a whirl. It’s available in English starting today and we’ll be adding more languages — and more ways for Now on Tap to help you — in the coming months. When a tap-and-hold doesn’t give you what you want, you can easily send feedback and help us improve this feature.
It’s early days but we’re excited about taking another step towards making your smartphone even smarter, by assisting you: getting you straight to the answer you need or the next step of what you’re doing.
Posted by Aparna Chennapragada, Director of Product Management and Behshad Behzadi, Principal Engineer