How to Set Google Now as Default on any Samsung Galaxy Smartphone

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Google Now, which we talked about in our earlier article, is probably the most useful application that Google has come up with. Not only is it a great voice search application, it also serves as a fully equipped virtual assistant. I've been using Google Now on my smartphone for a while now. It has become my default search engine and also a sort of a personal assistant. I use it to set reminders, navigate my way to various places, and even check for local movie timings. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who spends a lot of their time traveling.

However, as good as the feature is, only the chosen few Nexus users can make full use of it. Google Now, being a Google feature, is the default voice search on Google's own Nexus line of devices. On Galaxy phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, you'll find S-voice enabled by default. That is, if you push the Home button twice on a Galaxy smartphone, it will launch S-voice, Samsung's own voice search assistant. Now, I don't have anything bad to say about S-voice; however, it's just not that good when it comes to showing me traffic and even recognizing my voice. Furthermore, if you disable S-voice on your phone, double pressing the Home button won't do anything. So, how do you go about replacing S-voice with the awesome Google Now? Read on to find out.

Note: This tutorial works across most of the new Galaxy phones that have S-voice enabled by default. Few of them include Samsung Galaxy S3 (and Mini), Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Grand (Quattro and Duos).

Mapping Google Now to the Home Button:

Step 1: Disable S-voice

First, open S-voice on your phone. Then, press the menu key and go to settings. There, you'll see an option that says "Open via the home key." Uncheck that option and close the application:

Step 2: Install Home2 Shortcut

Install the app called Home2 Shortcut from the Google Play Store.

Step 3: Open Home2 Shortcut

Once Home2 Shortcut is installed, open it. In the settings, choose Google Voice search in Step 1. Then, choose the double tap interval. I'd suggest keep it to the default settings. Then, choose TouchWiz as your default launcher and close the app.

Now, whenever you double tap the Home button, Google Now's voice search will open up.

Mapping the Headset Button to Google Now

Google's voice search is even more useful if you're using the headset's button to voice search on the go. You can do this by installing an application called Headset Button Controller, which we mentioned in our earlier post.

Using Headset Button Controller:

Step 1: Download the Application from HERE.

Step 2: Open the application and click on the button that says 'Long Click':

Step 3: Change the option to 'Voice Search' and then click close:

Here if you want, you can choose to play a beep sound every time you long press your headset button.

Here, again, select Yes and close the app:

Now, whenever you long press your headset button, Google's voice search will open up. All you have to do now is to speak your query into the phone and Google's voice-enabled robot will answer it for you. For further tips on how to use Google Now, please refer to our earlier article. 

Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.