Google released an update to the Google Now feature built into Android 4.1 today, giving the dynamically-updated search function improved capabilities. Google Now now has the ability to display nearby events, suggest content for help in research, display boarding passes from Gmail, and to search by camera when at museums and shops. It also shows weather forecasts for upcoming travel destinations, upcoming birthdays, and an approximate monthly summary of walking and biking activity.
Google also added new voice actions today, giving Google Now the ability to post to Google+ and to scan barcodes. It can also now identify songs when a user asks “What’s this song?”
Google Translate gets text recognition, handwriting
Google updated its Google Translate app for Android today, adding handwriting recognition for a number of languages, as well as the ability to translate text using the camera. Users can now hold the camera up to horizontal Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text and will see a translation appear.
Google Translate also now recognizes handwriting in Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukranian, and Welsh.