The intelligent personal assistant Google Now has been getting smarter and more intuitive to use over the last three years since the California-based tech giant originally launched it, and another big change to it just started rolling out earlier this week. More specifically, a big novelty that's a part of the latest Google Now update which you may or may not have already downloaded from the Play Store depending on your location and Android device of choice is a tap-to-select icon which allows a new and intuitive way to utilize Google's personal assistant.
The icon is located between the menu and share on-screen buttons and it enables you to specifically select individual items or text on your screen before initiating Google Now on Tap analysis. So, say you're reading about last weekend's Champion's League final on Wikipedia and want to pull up information on Alicia Keys who is mentioned as having opened the ceremony in the article. The initial Google Now on Tap won't exactly give you the info on a person who's just mentioned in the context of a soccer game, but clicking the tap-to-select button and then selecting the words "Alicia Keys" will give you exactly what you're looking for, i.e. bring up relevant cards. However, what if you're not viewing a document or a webpage (which is technically also a document) with easily selectable text? No problem, Google Now on Tap is also quite good with optical character recognition (OCR) and will usually be able to scan an image in order to figure out what it says. Impressive? Definitely. Useful? Even more so.
This tap-to-select feature wasn't exactly heavily publicized by the Google Now development team, but what's important is that it's here and it's available for you to use. Well, kind of. Namely, it's still only present in the latest iteration of the Google Now app released earlier this week so you'll probably need to become a Google Now beta tester in order to start enjoying its benefits. Luckily, you can join the Google Now testing program anytime and completely free of charge. Given this latest feature and a bunch of other cool stuff Google has recently added into its intelligent personal assistant, it's no wonder that Google Now is currently leading the ongoing personal assistant war.