July 6, 2012

Hooray! Google Now Gets Ported From Jelly Bean To Ice Cream Sandwich


Good news, Android fans. A developer over on the forever awesome XDA Developers forums has figured out how to extract Google Now from Android Jelly Bean and port it over to devices running Ice Cream Sandwich. The process for doing so requires a slightly geeky skill set, of course. You have to have a rooted device and you’ll need to be comfortable navigating through the Android file system, for starters. But assuming that’s you, then you can be among the first to try Google Now in (nearly) all its glory.

In case you’re wondering what the big fuss is about, Google Now is only the most innovative, futuristic, and even downright creepy updates to Google’s search service ever to come. Instead of presenting a blank box where you type in text and hit enter, Google Now flips the search paradigm on its head. It alerts you to things you’ll want to know about before you search for them. Yes, really. Billed as a smart personal assistant to rival Apple’s Siri, Google Now comes pre-loaded on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean devices (the most recent version of Android, introduced at Google I/O), and proactively alerts you to things like weather changes, flight times and delays, sports scores, interesting places near you where you might like to eat, shop or visit, and more.

Google Now works best in a situation where it’s deeply embedded in the Android operating system itself, as in Jelly Bean, which may be why Google has made the decision not to release it as a native app for older versions of Android (either that, or the native build is still in progress. Fingers crossed!). But serious Android fans don’t have to wait to upgrade their OS to get most of the functionality Google Now offers.

XDA Developers forum user febycv figured out how to extract Google Now from Jelly Bean, and, by modifying the build.prop file, users can install the modified APK file.

He posted the instructions here on the original thread which detail the steps involved.

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