Over the last few weeks, Google has quietly been rolling out the ability to interact with your Android device on a limited basis, right from the search bar. It started with asking Google to “find my phone”; now, you can set alarms, send directions, or leave yourself a note.
With all of these tricks, you have to be logged into the Google Chrome browser and your Android phone for things to work. With some of them, you’re also supposed to be in the United States. For the time being, adding &gl=us to the search will let foreigners join in on the fun.
You also need:
- the latest version of the Google Android app
- Google Now enabled on your phone (Google App — >Settings — >Now Cards — >Show cards & notifications)
- Web & App activity turned on for your Google account
Then, you can pull off all these tricks:
Stick ‘Find My Phone’ into your browser, and you’ll get a card with the last known location of your phone (which will be the current location, if it’s turned on and has reception). You also get the option to ring it, which is ideal if, like me, your couch enjoys eating 4.7-inch glass rectangles.
The trigger phrase here is — surprise surprise — “send directions”, which gives you a basic maps card you can use to set a route, then send it to an Android device of your choice.
This is probably my favourite: search ‘note to self’, and you’ll get a card that lets you send a basic note to your Android phone. Even better, search ‘note to self buy beer’, you’ll get a card auto-filled with beer. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
As you can probably guess: search for ‘set an alarm’ while you’re closing up your laptop for the night, and you can set an alarm for the next morning, which will appear BY MAGIC on your Android phone. Not the internet. Magic. Typing ‘set an alarm for 8:00 also works, and saves you a whole three clicks.
Much like the others: type ‘set a reminder’, and you’ll get a reminder card you can forward on to your Android fondleslab.