What is Google Now on Tap?

Google Now on Tap is Google’s natural language processing AI engine which comes baked into devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and up. What sets Now on Tap apart from its various AI competitors is that it has contextual recognition capabilities in it.

What does this mean?

Many AI engines out there primarily need two things to interact with the user:
1. A query as an input, in the form of text or voice.
2. The query should have as much information as possible for the AI to give a meaningful result.
This means that you either type your query in a search box (much like a google search) or you give voice commands to the AI like “Ok Google” or Siri.

When you take a traditional device, add computing, connectivity, and a layer of intelligence to it, you end up transforming the experience.
– Sundar Pichai

Google Now on Tap works in a different manner. It tries to understand what you are doing at the moment by comprehending the information on your screen. By doing this, it is able to get the context of your communication with the device and hence, is able to serve you better.

How do I launch it?

It can be launched from any screen you are in by long pressing the home button.

How do I use it?

There are many ways in which you can use Now on Tap. We will be listing the 7 best ways in which you can unleash its full potential.

1. Take a quick screenshot

Long press home button to launch Now on Tap and then tap on the share button

Now on Tap helps you to take quick screenshots which are directly available for sharing. The best part about this is that these screenshots are not saved on your phone; you share them and you are done! No going to the gallery and manually deleting them after a one-time use. Awesome for quickly sharing those memes or embarrassing chats with your friends.

2. Navigate through Google Maps

There are times when a friend messages you an address or the address is on a printed document and you have to go through the pain of typing the entire thing or copy pasting it in Google Maps. Not anymore! Now on Tap makes life easy by scanning the address and directly opening it in Google Maps.

Launch Now on Tap to recognise addresses

If you have the address on your mobile screen (like a text message) then simple long press the home button and Now on Tap will do its job. But if the address is in the real world (like a printed document) then launch your camera app, point the camera towards the document, launch Now on Tap and voila!

3. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)


Now on Tap can be used to grab text from the real world and get it on your phone. A great use of this can be to digitise your documents. To do this, launch your camera app, get the document in the frame, launch Now on Tap and then click on the finger-shaped icon. This will let you select and grab text from the image. While this feature works great most of the times, it can occasionally fail due to various reasons too. To get the best results, make sure the document is laid out flat and the lighting is good.

4. Blazing fast web searches

Now on Tap helps to speed your Google searches up by scanning your mobile’s screen and understanding the things being referenced there.

How many times has it happened that your friend has texted you about a new restaurant in town and you had to do the hard work of copy-pasting its name in Google search to have a look at it? Or your friend talks about a new Coldplay song and you felt just too lazy to open youtube and search for the video?
Well, Now on Tap understands what restaurant, music etc. are you talking about and gives relevant links to them for quick access.

5. Follow your favourite music artist or check movie timings

Launch Now on Tap while watching Youtube videos

This is where the context recognition feature of Now on Tap comes handy.
Listening to your favourite band and want to see when and where they perform live next?
Making movie plans with your friends and want to quickly check the movie timings?

6. Add meetings to your Google calendar


So now you’ve chosen the restaurant you want to go to and decide to meet your buddy there at 6 P.M tomorrow. Wanna get a reminder for that? Now on Tap helps you add an event to your Google calendar and saves you from missing those important meet ups.

7. Translate text from a foreign language


Incredibly useful when you are travelling to a foreign country and need to read those sign boards or a restaurant’s menu card. To translate, follow the steps mentioned in Step 3: OCR, select the text you want to translate and Now on Tap will automatically do the work for you.

These were some of the best ways in which you can use Google Now on Tap. Have any other tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments section below.