1. Dave-in-Decatur's Avatar
    Encouraged by EvilMonkey's very fine Ambassador Guide to Google Now, I set up Google Now on my phone today. I unchecked a lot of the possible card alerts it could show (TV shows, movies, albums, etc.). I did leave Next appointment checked, but I'm a little puzzled about how it works. It should alert me to events in my Google Calendar, I believe. (I do have all my Google Calendars checked in the Next appointment settings, and I have Notifications turned on.) However, I'm finding that I have to place something in the location (Where) field (a place name or an address) to get a card. Nothing else will cause one to be popped up; it has to be in the location field and it has to be a real, locatable place that's in my contacts.

    I sort of get this -- Google Now isn't intended to replace or duplicate the alerts in my calendar app, apparently, but to enable me to get where I'm going on time or to locate something I'm interested in. It would be really nice if Google itself would explain this, but that so rarely seems to happen.

    Sometimes not even the location-field trick will work. I've been doing a series of test events, and at the moment I can't get Google Now to show a card for any event, even with a properly formatted address in the location field, even though it did so when I began testing half an hour ago. I think once it even worked with a place name from my contacts instead of an address.

    So, can anyone who has some experience with Google Now help with this? Under what circumstances does the Next appointment card actually show up? Does it show up reliably, or am I a fool to trust this to work for me?
    10-21-2013 03:45 PM
  2. Dave-in-Decatur's Avatar
    Please pardon a tiny bit of thread drift, but this seems better than starting a new one. I also just tried looking for a restaurant with the voice search. I have Access to my location turned on in the phone's settings, and GPS is turned on. I said, "Mediterranean food nearby" and got suggestions on the other side of the country. I said, "Mediterranean food near my location" and got another list of remote suggestions. It only worked when I said, "Mediterranean food near home," presumably because I had specified an address for my Home location.

    So far, I'm deeply underwhelmed. It looks like Google Now will give Google more information about me than it will give me from Google.
    10-21-2013 04:14 PM
  3. EvilMonkey's Avatar
    When you say you have access to your location turned on in the phone's settings, do you also mean you have it turned on in Google Now's settings? It should be working if so. It's strange if it's not.
    10-21-2013 04:17 PM
  4. Dave-in-Decatur's Avatar
    I meant Settings > More > Location services. But checking the Google Now settings under Privacy & accounts > Google location settings, Access location is turned on there too, along with Location Reporting and Location History.

    When I say, "Show my location on a map," it responds with a set of Web pages about doing that, not by showing my actual location. If I say "Navigate to..." and name a business that's in my contacts, it finds it and opens Maps to start navigation. It will also do this with a business that's not in my contacts. Maps, of course, reads my location from the GPS.

    And now, of course, without having changed any settings, I find that I can say, "Mediterranean food nearby" and it DOES show the appropriate restaurants. It seems to be very hit-or-miss, maybe dependent on communication with Google's servers?

    What do you make of the Next appointment issue? You and other folks online (e.g., this comment and the one below it) seem to be able to have it pop up cards for directions to upcoming events without issue. But I can't get it to work consistently. Of course, when I tried it just this minute, it worked; but as I say, it was working once before and then stopped. Maybe it just hit a rough patch for awhile. But if that's the case, then clearly it can't be relied on.

    Oh, BTW, 5 minutes after writing the above, I can now say, "Show my location on a map," and it at least responds with a map of the general area, but not my specific location. Closer than before, still no cigar, and still hit-or-miss IMHO. I hate to judge something this complex after just a few hours' trying, but it's not off to a promising start.
    10-21-2013 05:23 PM

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