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Using Google Maps, Navigation, and Google Now with Your Android Phone

In this chapter from My Android Phone, learn how to use Google Maps, Navigation, and Google Now, including staying up to date with Google Now, navigating with Google Maps, and taking map data offline.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In this chapter, you find out how to use Google Maps, Navigation, and Google Now. Topics include the following:

  • Staying up to date with Google Now
  • Navigating with Google Maps
  • Taking map data offline

You can use your Android phone as a GPS navigation device while you walk or drive around. Your phone also includes an app called Google Now that provides all the information you need when you need it.

Using Google Now

You can access Google Now from the Lock screen or from any screen, which enables you to search the Internet. Google Now provides you with information such as how long it takes to drive to work and the scores from your favorite teams.

Use Google Now

After you access Google Now, you can see current information, or search the Internet.

  1. Cards automatically appear based on your settings. Examples of these cards are scores for the sports teams you follow, upcoming meetings, weather in the location where you work, and traffic on the way to work.
  2. Tap the Microphone icon to speak a search term or to command Google Now to do something. You can also type your search terms.

  3. Information relevant to your search appears.

Set Up Google Now

For Google Now to work for you, you need to set it up correctly. This also means sharing your location information with Google.

  1. Swipe in from the left side of the screen to reveal the menu.
  2. Tap to add and manage reminders. After adding a reminder, Google Now notifies you of the activity when the reminder is due.
  3. Tap Customize to customize what kinds of Google Now cards are displayed. This includes choosing sports teams, stocks, places, and TV and video.
  4. Tap Settings.

  5. Tap to manage what Google Now can search for. This can include apps you have installed, bookmarks and web history in the Chrome web browser, your contacts, Google Play Books, Movies & TV, and Music.
  6. Tap Voice to manage how and when Google Now responds to your voice.

  7. Tap to choose the languages that Google Now responds to.
  8. Tap to choose when Google Now should be listening for you to say “OK Google,” which is the key phrase that launches Google Now. You can choose to have Google Now listening only from the Google Now app, from any screen, or from the Lock screen.
  9. Tap to choose whether Google Now works when your phone is locked, and how it should listen for your commands. You can choose to let Google Now use a paired Bluetooth device, a headset connected by a cable, or both.
  10. Tap to choose when Google Now speaks back to you. Your choices are On (which means always), Off (which means never), or only when you are using a hands-free device (such as a Bluetooth headset or your car’s built-in Bluetooth connection). Some phones may not include the “Off” choice here.

  11. Tap to manage whether Google Now speech recognition can work even when there is no Internet connection. This is achieved by downloading one or more languages to your phone.
  12. Tap to block offensive words being spoken when search results are returned by voice.
  13. Tap to allow Google Now to record your voice using your Bluetooth headset or built-in car Bluetooth.
  14. Tap to save your changes and return to the main Google Now Settings screen.

  15. Tap Accounts & Privacy.

  16. Tap to choose which of your Google accounts (if you have more than one) you want to use for Google Now.
  17. Tap to manage whether apps can share your data with Google and clear any data that apps on your phone have shared with Google.
  18. Tap to enable or disable the SafeSearch Filter that blocks offensive content.
  19. Tap to choose whether you want to share your commute status, such as when you leave for home or leave for work. People need to be in your Google+ Circles to receive your Commute updates.
  20. Tap to enable or disable high-contrast text if you have a vision disability.
  21. Tap to enable or disable Google Now sending Google information on how you use Google Now.
  22. Tap to save your changes and return to the main Google Now Settings screen.

  23. Tap to manage how Google Now alerts you when new cards are ready, and choose the ringtone that plays when they are ready to view.
  24. Tap to save your changes and return to Google Now.

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