Google Now for Android adds TV Cards, Google Offers

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is updating its Now personal assistant service for Android devices, introducing new second-screen television viewing interactions and location-based offers.

Google Now, launched in mid-2012 in association with the Android 4.1 mobile operating system update, presents a series of virtual 'cards' containing information about local weather, traffic, events and nightlife, each automatically generated in relation to a user's present whereabouts and the time of day. The new update enables users with Internet-connected TVs to connect their Android device to the program they're currently viewing, accessing TV Cards containing information on series cast members or individuals featured in the broadcast.

The revamped Google Now also adds support for Google Offers, which spotlights discounts from nearby restaurants and retailers along with corresponding mapping and navigation data. Google Now's Offers card reminds users when they're in the vicinity of deals saved to their account, also pulling up the offer to simplify access.

Google expanded Now to rival Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS mobile operating system in late April, challenging Apple's own Siri voice assistant technology. At that time, Google Now Product Manager Tamar Yehoshua told CNet that Google Now's own voice recognition technology has made significant strides since launch: "We've seen a 15 to 35 percent improvement since Jelly Bean [Android 4.1]," she said.

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