Google apparently dumped its "Now on Tap" brand Tuesday in favor of something a bit more straightforward: Google Assistant.
Now on Tap, which is only ayear old, allows Android users to get more detailed information about whatever's on their screen by holding down their home button. The feature, which has specifically been renamed "screen search" according to a report in 9to5Google , will work in much the same way now that it's folded into Google Assistant.
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Say you're texting with someone about meeting up for dinner. Your friend messages you the name of a place you're not familiar with, so you activate Google Assistant (née Now on Tap), which "reads" the text on your screen and displays relevant information — reviews, location and so forth.
Here's how it looks in the new Pixel phone:
Google Assistant's "screen search" in action
That name just doesn't make any sense. What are you "tapping," and why?
It's a handy feature — it saves you the steps of switching to your browser app and typing a search into Google — but its implementation has been a bit clumsy so far.
Android devices are made by a variety of companies like Samsung and LG, which means Now on Tap hasn't been clearly advertised as a core feature on flagship devices like the Galaxy Note7. And — ugh! — that name just doesn't make any sense. What are you "tapping," and why?
Google's trying to force a change with its new line of Pixel phones, which were formally announced at a media event in San Francisco Tuesday. They're the first devices to contain Google Assistant, which will emphasize all of the handy new features like screen search.
Bottom line? The company is tightening its branding, ideally making features like Google Assistant user-friendly — and its pricy Pixel phones more appealing as a result.