Google Now has to be one of the many cherry picked updates that have been brought about by Google in it’s latest version of Android i.e. Jelly Bean. With Google Now, Google has finally come up with a competitor for Siri – the virtual assistant that is available on Apple’s iPhone 4S. Ever since Google Now’s release, there have been a number of comparisons that are being drawn between Google Now and it’s Apple counterpart.
We do know many of you are waiting to try your hands on the voice search by Google but if you are someone who doesn’t have a Nexus 7/ Galaxy Nexus/ Nexus S/ Motorolla Xoom, you might well have to wait for the Android 4.1 update to reach your device to officially try out Google Now. Having said that, the open source nature of Android allows us to do anything with our device and so here we are to tell you about this interesting tweak that will allow you to install Google Now on your Ice Cream Sandwich Device.
There are a couple of pre-requisites to installing Google Now on your device:
1. Your device should be running Ice Cream Sandwich and Ice Cream Sandwich only. This tweak wouldn’t work for previous generations of Android.
2. Your device should be rooted with root explorer installed on it.
To install Google Now on your Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) device, head over to the XDA thread here.
There are a number of methods that can be used to install Google Now and all of them have been clearly mentioned in the thread itself. Here is the one that worked for us while trying to port Google Now on our HTC One X:
1. Rename GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk in system/app to GoogleQuickSearchBox.bak. You can rename to anything else as well. That doesn’t really matter. It worked for us even when we renamed the application to GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk1
2. Install the apk that you downloaded from the download link in the XDA thread mentioned above just like you install any other normal application.
3. Reboot your device.
4. Google Now should pop up as soon as you click on the search bar on the home screen.
Another thing to note is that Voice Search wouldn’t work and you will have to type in the queries. For being able to download and use the voice search, download the application’s apk from this thread which is also mentioned in the xda thread above.
Even though this has been tested on AOSP ROMs only but users of other ROMs have also had success in making Google Now working on their ICS devices using this technique. If it doesn’t work for you, we recommend you to flash an AOSP ROM. CM9 will be our safest bet.