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Google Now

Google Now can be best described as a digital personal assistant. You can ask Google Now to search for information, ask questions, ask for directions, make recommendations and perform actions such as setting a calendar date, play music from your playlists and even translate English to other languages and vice versa.

Google Now is available for most operating systems, including Android phones and tablets, Chromebooks, Windows and Mac computers, iOS (iPhones and iPads) and is even available on wearable devices such as Smart Watches.

To use Google Now you you must be connected to the internet/WiFi or a mobile network.

Where do I get Google Now?

Windows or Mac Computer

Google Now is built into the Google Chrome browser and is free to download

iOS (iPad or iPhone)

You can also use Google Now on an iPhone or iPad. The Google Now App can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for free. 

Android Phone or Tablet

If you own an Android device such as a Nexus, Samsung, Sony, HTC, Hudle etc, Google Now should already be available on your device. If not, you can download the Google Now App from the Google Play Store


​You're sorted! You don't need to do anything other than start up your Chromebook and launch the Chrome browser. 

Getting Started with Google Now

Once you have downloaded and installed Google Now you can start using it straight away. If you are using the iOS and/or Android Apps all you need to say is "Ok Google" to get started.  

You can start using Goolge Now on a Windows or Mac computer by clicking or selecting the 'Microphone' icon on the right hand side of the search box. 

To 'activate' the 'OK Google' voice search (if it does not appear as a default) you will need to enable it in Settings in Chrome. 

To set Google Now up in the Chrome browser (on a Windows or Mac computer) follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Select the '3 horizontal lines' on the top right side of the browser.
  3. When the drop down menu appears select 'Settings'.
  4. In Settings under 'Search' tick 'Enable "Ok Google" to enable a voice search'.
  5. Close Settings and return to the Google home page - a 'Microphone' icon will appear in the Google search box. 

You should check to see if your computer has an external microphone. If not, you will need to attach an external microphone to make the most of Google Now.

Using Google Now

Ok Google

Is easy - there is no formal training process but you will need to know what you want to say to Google Now:

  • Think about what you want to ask or tell Google Now to do, e.g. search for information, set an alarm, create a calendar event etc. 
  • Compose the question or command in your head. 
  • Say "Okay Google" or click the microphone icon on the right hand side of the search box to activate Google Now. 
  • Ask your question when the red circle appears with the microphone icon. If Google Now misunderstood what you said, you can correct it by saying “No, I said...” and trying the phrase again.​


If you are using an iPad or an Android you don't need a microphone to use Google Now - you can just speak into the iPad's or Android's built-in mic - but you have to hold the device reasonably close. With an external microphone, you don't have to hold the device close to your mouth and it is less likely to pick up sounds around you.

You can use standard speech recognition headsets with a jack plug but you will need a adapter such as a  StarTech 4 Pin Headset Splitter Adapter to make it work with the iPad/Android jack socket. You can also use wireless Bluetooth microphones such as the Avantalk AH5.