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Interacting with Google services

From: Android 4.1 SDK Jelly Bean New Features

Video: Interacting with Google services

If I tap the Google icon on my Home screen, I see a variety of Google services, everything from Gmail to Messenger, and all of them have been upgraded for Jelly Bean. Moreover, an entirely new aggregator of Google services has been implemented. It's called Google Now, and it's extremely cool. Let's start the ball rolling at Google+. With my Google collection on the Home screen, I'll tap Google+ to open it up. The look and feel of the stream has been snazzed up a bit.

Interacting with Google services

If I tap the Google icon on my Home screen, I see a variety of Google services, everything from Gmail to Messenger, and all of them have been upgraded for Jelly Bean. Moreover, an entirely new aggregator of Google services has been implemented. It's called Google Now, and it's extremely cool. Let's start the ball rolling at Google+. With my Google collection on the Home screen, I'll tap Google+ to open it up. The look and feel of the stream has been snazzed up a bit.

The first time I swipe through the stream, the large images seem to just float into place. On Tablets, the Google+ stream has a new, magazine-style layout. I'll click the Google collection, icon and then Google+, and here you can see two columns of streams side-by-side for a good portion of the page, and as I move up, then it extends to a horizontal single column, and it breaks it up, again, like a magazine layout. You can also now add and manage events right from Google+.

I'll tap the Google+ icon in the upper left, which opens up a side nav. From there, I'll tap Events, and once it loads, I'll tap Create an event. From here I could proceed to invite folks to a movie night or other event. Any related post or photos are saved to the Event, so I can revisit them at any time. This ability is available on both phone and Tablet. Let me show you another Google app that's been given a facelift for Jelly Bean powered tablets, Gmail.

So I'll tap HOME, Google, and then Gmail. The new layout makes it easy to see a full list of messages, all maintaining access to all my folders and labels. Now there's another Google owned service that's been given an upgrade, and that's YouTube. So let's go HOME, Google, YouTube. When we open up in YouTube, you'll see my Channel Feed. Now you can see which subscriptions are shown in your Feed by clicking YouTube in the upper left, and there you see the account that I have, and the three Channels that I've subscribed to.

Let's see what's happening on the lynda channel. Nice! Now let's turn to that new addition to the Google family I mentioned, Google Now. So I'm going to switch back to the phone to demo this part, and go to Home. You won't find a Google Now icon in the Google collection, as you can see. Google Now is more integrated than that. To get to Google Now, tap into Google Search. If the keyboard opens up, just swipe it down. Now the first of what Google calls cards comes up, showing local weather, based on your automatically-gathered location.

Essentially, Google Now combines your location, Search History, Calendar, and other recurring uses of your device to deliver relevant info to you automatically. If you're concerned about privacy, you should know that Google Now is an opt-in service. The first time you see it, you're given a brief tour of the possibilities, and then presented with an option to opt in or not. As you can see, I'm in. Let me show you some of the other cards available. So I'm going to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Show sample cards.

There are 10 sample cards here, ranging from Traffic, to the time back home when you're traveling. Some, like Traffic, are based on your location. Others, like Flight, are tied to searches you've done. Flight, for example, gives you a status update of your flight. Each card has its own settings. Let's look at the settings for Sports. I'm currently following the Yankees and the Giants. If I wanted to add the Lakers, I just tap Add team, and then enter an L. This will open up a range of different teams that start with an L, and there's my Los Angeles Lakers.

So I'll select that, and now the latest score will pop up during the next Lakers game. There's tons more functionality built into Google Now, as is evident when I scroll down the list. If you want to see everything that's available, just tap Card list under Other cards at the bottom of the sample cards. The more you use Google Search and related services like Gmail, the more Google Now becomes. Have fun exploring!

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Android 4.1 SDK Jelly Bean New Features

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Joseph Lowery
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