Google Now on Tap was a signature feature of Android Marshmallow that was supposed to transform how you used your smartphone. It didn’t quite turn out that way. The feature searches the content of your home screen and then offers relevant links in theory, but in practice, many of the suggestions wouldn’t be all that helpful.
Fortunately, Google has continued to work on Now on Tap, and it’s still something worth checking out in Android Nougat, the successor to Marshmallow. Now when you use Now on Tap, Google will not only scan your screen and offer relevant suggestions, but will give you links to actions that you might need. Google will serve up quick searches for a nearby restaurant, coffee shop, or give you the weather report for an upcoming trip.
As with most Google services, Now on Tap remains a work in progress. The key is to experiment and continue to try out the features and observe how they change and — hopefully — improve over time. Here's how to turn on Now on Tap from a phone running Nougat.
1. Launch the Google app.
2. Go to Settings > Screen search.
3. Enable Now on Tap by toggling the top switch. To provide Google with information about your usage, such as giving the company permission to store your screenshots, turn on the second toggle.
You’re now ready to use Now on Tap.
4. To test Now on Tap, press and hold your phone's home button. You’ll see recommended actions as well as suggestions for coffee shops, restaurants, and other venues. Much of this will depend upon your location and what’s on your screen at the time.
5. Swipe down the screen to see other options for restaurants, bars, ATMs, gas stations and more. Swipe further to see other cards of information, such as weather.
6. Touch one of the options to explore more. In this case, let's tap Bars to see a list local venues with ratings, hours, distance and other information.
You can use Now on Tap in several different ways, including as a conversation aide to get additional details about what's being discussed. In this example, Google spotted the phrase “Google Pixel” in a chat.
Swipe down to see all of the cards that have been generated from the conversation. Touch Discover More to see what else Google thinks you want to know about.
To disable Now On Tap, open the Google apps and go to Settings > Screen search. Then toggle off the top setting.