Google is notorious for hiding unusual little tricks inside its software, with the variety of hidden gems being known in techie circles as ‘easter eggs’. The firm’s personalised search service, Google Now, is no exception, with there being a large number of unexpected treats on offer to anyone who knows exactly what to say.
Here are some of the highlights, all of which can be activated by simply opening Google Now and saying the command. We tested them all on the Motorola Moto X, but they work on many other devices and platforms too.
When am I?
Clearly the people behind Google Now are science fiction fans, as will be proven by several entries on this list. Asking this question provokes a Doctor Who-themed answer, with a mention of the Tardis slipping in nicely.
Beam me up, Scotty
Google Now doesn’t do accents particularly well, as is revealed by repeating this famous Star Trek line. The voice replies in a mock-Scottish tone, letting you know that you won’t be teleporting anywhere in the near future.
Do a barrel roll
A simple request, answered immediately by Google Now as it flips itself around. The effect is like looking at your search results going through a washing machine, and may leave you feeling a little dizzy.
Lions and tigers and bears
Straight out of The Wizard of Oz, Google Now will reply to this famous song lyric with the appropriate “Oh my!”. This musical break makes a refreshing change from the science-fiction theme of many of the service’s easter eggs.
Tea, Earl Grey, hot
Back to Star Trek, this time with the latter-day patriarch of the Starship Enterprise, Captain Jean Luc Picard. In moments of frustration, the captain is known to demand his favorite beverage from one of the vessel’s onboard ‘replicators’, with the machine then magically producing one from thin air. Sadly, Google Now will let you know that that you’re going to be making your own brew this time around.