google now

Featured: How To (Sort Of) Turn Google Talk Into Google Now

October 18, 2012 - Written By Mike Stenger

Google Now is an awesome feature for 4.1 Jelly Bean devices and was not only Google’s answer to Siri, but a very impressive and better performing answer in early tests. From weather to sports scores and more, you just ask a question or issue a command and the sophisticated AI is put to work.

Being that Google Now is, again, only available for a small percentage of total devices, a lot of Android users are left in the dark. While there are some alternatives out there, did you know that Google Talk has a bit of Google Now functionality?

Now, it doesn’t work the same way meaning you can’t just hit a button, speak, and abracadabra. Instead, you simply type out what you want to know and a certain “Guru” will respond, that Guru being a bot. Surprisingly, this feature has been around over a year, but never really got too much attention.

Anyone who has access to Google Talk can take advantage of this and it’s very simple to setup. All you have to do is add guru@googlelabs.com to your contacts. That’s it. Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go. For example, you can type, “Score for [sports team]”, “Weather [City, State], “translate [other language]”, “15 billion x 937 million”, and so on.

On a quick side note, if you have your phone rooted and are running 4.0 ICS, there are some workarounds to getting Google Now on your device. Just head to the XDA Developers forum and you’ll be able to find something. While this feature isn’t as impressive and robust as Google Now itself, this can definitely prove to be useful for those that are on the go and may be using Gingerbread or dare we say an even earlier build.