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Google Now Available for Droid RAZR, RAZR MAXX & ICS Devices

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Don’t want to wait months for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to deliver Google Now to the Droid RAZR, Droid RAZR MAXX and other Android 4.0 devices, interested users can install it now.

The Google Now app is available for rooted Android 4.0 smartphones running AOSP based ROMs and is available to install on many devices in a matter of minutes.

Google Now is a new assistant type tool that links all the things Google knows and observes about a user into a single app to deliver sports scores, traffic conditions, weather and more.

Google Now

Google Now delivers customized information.

Google Now also allows users to ask questions similar to those iPhone 4S owners ask Siri, though Google Now may soon be able to control device functions.

The folks over at xda-developers have cooked up a working Google Now app for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich, and while Voice isn’t working just yet it’s a good way to give Google Now a try.

Here’s a video of Google Now on an Android 4.0 phone.

To install the Google Now, first root the Droid RAZR or RAZR MAXX and install an AOSP ROM. Xda-developers provides directions to root the RAZR and RAZR MAXX.

Download the Google Now app for Android 4.0.

  1. Install Root Explorer on the phone and open it.
  2. Open /system in Root Explorer.
  3. Tap on ‘Mount R/W“.
  4. Scroll until build.prop is on the screen.
  5. Press and hold on build.prop, when a new menu opens tap on “Open in Text Editor”.
  6. Search for the following line ro.build.version.sdk=15 and change it to ro.build.version.sdk=16. 
  7. Tap on Menu and press Save.
  8. Navigate to /system/app and press and hold on GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk.
  9. Rename the file to GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk1 or a similar file name to back up this file.
  10. Reboot the phone.
  11. Install the Google Now apk file.
  12. Repeat steps 5 – 7 to edit the build prop file back to ro.build.version.sdk=15.
  13. Reboot

Enjoy all the benefits of Google Now without the wait for Jelly Bean Android 4.1.

Users who would rather not go through this process should check out our Ultimate Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Upgrade list to find out when their phone will get Jelly Bean.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

9 Comments

  1. DeWayne Lehman

    07/06/2012 at 8:16 am

    Using the Theo0s build, you can skip most of that, and just copy the apk into /system/app. But, skip paying for Root Explorer, and use the free ES File Explorer with root options turned on.

    Change the GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk to GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk1

    Then rename the Theos0s (or newer) build of Google Now, aka “Velvet” to GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk. Finally, change file properties to rw-r–r–, and reboot the device.

    And reboot. And there you go for installing it without modifying the build.prop. Further instructions for doing this available on XDA.

    It’s fun to play with, doing some searches gets more cards to update, like sports scores and such. But the real fun will come with search, and we’re all holding our breath…

    Personally, I’m waiting for CM10, which the CyanogenMod team just announced will be their official JellyBean port. And good news! If you run ICS and/or CM9, they are 99% sure you will run CM10 (JellyBean)! Here’s their announcement: https://plus.google.com/u/0/117962666888533781522/posts/PNJutPNhixo

  2. Pinoy Android

    07/06/2012 at 11:16 am

    I installed the app. I use the method of dave from xda No longer needs build.prop modification however this app is still sluggish…

  3. FoxKat

    07/07/2012 at 10:19 am

    OK, I tried it but missed terribly the ability to speak searches, and it also replaced the speech to text option in text windows such as Tapatalk. So I reinstalled the original search but now I don’t have the Google search Widget on my home screen and it doesn’t appear in the Widget tray.

    Now what?

    • Heather

      07/10/2012 at 11:59 am

      I also did the same thing and can’t figure out how to get it back. It’s killing me.

  4. Steve

    07/07/2012 at 12:47 pm

    Hi,
    Hopefully someone will come to my aid here. I’m not a developer and frankly the java jargon only confuses me. I’m trying to root my phone (droid maxx). I want to use the new Google Now app and apparently this process needs the phone to be rooted. The first thing that is needed is Java JDK. What version, where do I go to get the appropriate version that can be loaded on my Mac Book OS is 10.6.8. Any help or shortcuts to get the phone rooted are appreciated.
    Thanks

    • blueglacia

      07/07/2012 at 3:54 pm

      I assume you have updated your Droid Maxx with ICS from Verizon? If so, the easiest way to root it is by following this method (there are other methods, but not as easy as this one): http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1710871 (you would need to register with the site to see the download link).

      Since they do not have Mac version yet, you would need an access to your friend’s PC. If you follow the instruction precisely (very easy, by the way), you will root it in no time. If you don’t follow instructions, you will get errors.

      Hope this helps.

    • blueglacia

      07/07/2012 at 3:58 pm

      Also, keep in mind that this version of Google Now seems incomplete and is somewhat buggy (and lags). Consider yourself warned. I am waiting for a more cooked version for my Droid Razr (Maxx). Maybe Moto and Verizon would be faster with pushing out Jelly Bean update this time. Am I too optimistic?

  5. Dane Lingel

    07/10/2012 at 1:46 pm

    Droid Razr Maxx sale $199.99 Verizon
    wish want

  6. Steve

    07/14/2012 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks blueglacia.
    I’ll give that a shot and see if I can get it to root. Appreciate the warning though….now I have to think about whether I want to take the risk of screwing something up. I have liked the write-ups on Google Now and just wish they would come out with the app outright so all this wasn’t necessary.

    Have a good one.

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