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Google Now And Voice Actions Absent Or Not Working On Some Nexus 5 Devices

December 4, 2013 - Written By Justin Diaz


Buying a new Nexus device is an experience that can be quite exciting. However an issue that seems to be present on more than just a few Nexus 5 devices is taking away from all that excitement, and leaving disappointment in its place. One customer has already reported the issue he was having to the Google support forums, which led to other users complaining about having the same problem. The issue that seems to be plaguing some Nexus 5 phones is the lack of Google Now and Voice actions functionality even after initial setup has finished. When on the home screen, swiping over to the left should take you the Nexus 5 exclusive Google Now interface, but for some users Google Now is nowhere is nowhere to be found.

After reading through the forums thread, it is still unclear what is actually causing the problem but there are a few tips and tricks from other users including some Google Employees, that you can try if you or someone you know is having this issue. The simplest and most obvious thing you can try is to make sure that Google Now is actually on, and if it is move on to other possibilities. If not, turn it on and give your phone a good power cycle(although not required it couldn’t hurt). Some other tips suggest that the problem might be Location based, and that you should check your Google Location Reporting after launching the Google Settings app. To do this launch the Google Settings app, then select Location and then look under Google Location Reporting. If the option or setting isn’t there, Google Location services and Google Now are not available in your region. While this is likely not the case for most people experiencing the problem at hand, it could be the reason behind the issue for some.

Other possibilities as pointed out by the same Google Employee could be that your Google Apps administrator might have disabled Google Now or may have never activated it in the first place. If you have a Google Apps account other than the personal one tied to your gmail, then you may want to consider contacting your administrator to have this feature enabled. Having your administrator toggle Google Location services off then on again might work as well.

If none of these solutions or reasons apply to you and you just opted out of Google Now during the setup of your brand new Nexus 5, getting it back is a lot easier than you might think. Start by dragging down from your status bar with two fingers to reveal the quick settings tray, then tap on the settings button. Once you’re inside settings, scroll to accounts and select your Google account, or create one if you haven’t yet. Once inside your Google account, tap search below the privacy section then select accounts and privacy, tap on your Google account and then sign out. From here, just repeat all the previous steps up to where you would sign out and instead select your Google account that you want to use. At this point the Google Now setup screen should reappear. If this doesn’t work the first time around, one user reports getting the Google Now opt in screen to finally pop up after doing this sign in/sign out process about 6 or 7 times.

Its possible that none of these tips or solutions may work, and you may just have to wait for a possible fix. If one such fix should appear with an explanation as to what was causing the problem for some users, we’ll be sure to update you guys here. Not having Google Now is a non issue for some, but its a huge feature for Android devices now and a mainstay on Nexus devices. It is also possible that you may simply just need to try a factory reset on the device. This is of course a last resort solution to the problem, but if you have tried everything else you can think of its worth a shot. If you haven’t really done much besides set the phone up, you may even want to try this first. Google knows this issue exists and is hopefully working on a solution to resolve it. In the mean time, try the solutions we have posted here.