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Google Now widget hits Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Google has just launched a new widget for its Google Now advanced search service, and it’s available now for devices running Android 4.1 and above.

The widget comes as part of a new update to the base Google Search app on Android devices.

What all Android 4.1 phones get with this update is the spookily intelligent Google Now service right there on your phone’s home screen. This takes the form of stylish ‘cards,’ each of which provides you with contextual information based on past activity.

So, for example, if you’re constantly figuring out a route home from wherever you are, there’ll be a card with the journey time from your current location and what the traffic’s like. It’ll also help with currency conversion when it notes you’re going abroad.

Local weather and appointments are other popular sources of data for Google Now to work its magic on.

If your device supports lockscreen widgets – such as the Google Nexus 4 – then you’ll also be able to see this new Google Now widget as soon as you pull the phone out of your pocket. We tried the update on an HTC One X, and this lockscreen feature didn’t work thanks to the custom HTC Sense UI.

There are a couple of extra features added with this update, too, including Rotten Tomato ratings on movie listings and movie passes from Fandango. You’ll also apparently get property listings when Google detects that you’re looking to buy a new home.

Have you tried out the new Google Now widget yet? Is it proving useful? Let us know in the comments section below.

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