Google Now's latest update adds Reader-like website updates, Waze traffic reports and more (updated)

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Richard Lawler
November 13, 2013 8:02 PM
Google Now's latest update adds Reader-like website updates, Waze traffic reports and more (updated)

Some of the Google Now enhancements mentioned at the Android 4.4 KitKat unveiling are ready to roll, as the search giant has started pushing a new version of its app on Android today. The ability to follow news about specific people started popping up last month, but the news update card follows specific topics you've searched about or chosen to follow. It's not quite a replacement for Google Reader (RIP), but the new website update card brings the latest posts from selected sources (we can recommend one you should follow), while the "What to Watch" card adds more suggestions for movies and TV shows.

That's not all however, as the crowdsourced Waze traffic updates that we've started noticing on the desktop and in Google Maps are also coming to Google Now, with alerts relevant to your commute highlighted. The final additions noted are notifications for in-store pickups, real-time rugby scoring and the ability to set reminders that repeat. As usual, it's one of Google's staggered rollouts so you might not see the new features right away, check out the Google+ post for an idea of what they look like.

Update: Android Police and Droid-Life point out that with this update, it also means you can easily add the Google Experience Launcher from the Nexus 5 to any device running Android 4.1 or higher. Both sites have downloads for the official Home APK, which along with this update lets you activate search and commands with the "Ok Google" hotword straight from your home screen, as well as enjoy some new animations.

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Update 2: As Ars Technica notes, the update also brings some notable improvements that Google's apparently chosen not to highlight. Namely, you can now interact with Google Now using more conversational voice commands, not unlike Siri. You can try that out yourself, or see an example in a short video Ars has put together.

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