Install “Google Now” on any rooted Android 4.0 device

Google Now was one of the new highlights  of Jelly Bean when Google announced it during Google I/O 2012, last month. More than just a voice assistant, Google Now keeps a track all of your searches, usage patterns, daily schedules, etc. and builds a knowledge graph. Over time, when it has collected enough data it will start to perform your routine tasks automatically without your intervention. This is something much bigger thanApple’s Siriand Samsung’s S Voice and is available exclusively on Jelly Bean, which is Android 4.1. However, being Android, nothing is exclusive for very long and XDA Developer’s member febycv has managed to port this feature to Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich. While you can install it on any rooted device running Android 4.0, it won’t fork on OEM ROMs with custom skins like Sense, etc. For now this only works on AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROMs which most custom ROMs are based upon. Before you proceed, please make sure you read all the instructions carefully, twice or thrice if needed before attempting it. We are not responsible if you mess up your phone.

Get all information in real-time
The first method involved some editing of the build.prop file, however, there’s a simpler method which involves a modified version of the Google Now apk where you don’t have to edit the build.prop file. This new version can be installed either through a file manager or you can download the zip files and flash via recovery. You can get all the information you need from this thread right here. Currently, searching through the text-box works just fine, location services work, info cards work and notifications work. There are a few glitches that are being worked up like the inability to exit the app using the back button on the Google Now ‘Cards’ screen and voice search doesn’t work as it appears to be specific to Jelly Bean’s kernel. If you have Gingerbread and below then don’t even think of attempting this as it won’t work and of course if you’re running anything other than a AOSP ROM.

Google Now claims to be a handy tool for everyday uses like commuting and driving directions. It can find you the best routes to get to your workplace quickly if your usual route is clogged. The tool can also list all local eateries in an instant when queried, and once in a restaurant, the search function automatically lists the restaurant’s best dishes. Sports lovers too can stay updated on their favourite teams in real-time with Google Now. Hopefully, once AOSP ROMs of Jelly Bean start doing their rounds, we should be able to use Google Now at its full potential. This is definitely not a bad start however and if you have installed it, let us know how it runs on your device and how accurate it is.

In the meantime, here’s a short video clip of Google Now in action thanks to