For the first time in a very long time, the National Weather Service issued several severe weather alerts for Oklahoma City. Now, that’s not particularly unusual, since we are moving into tornado season. What was unusual, or more particularly, interesting and helpful, was Google Now.

During one of the severe weather alerts I noticed a new notification bar icon. Being curious, I clicked it, and up popped a severe weather alert from Google Now.

I’m not really shocked, as the alert and card are tied to the “Public Alerts” setting, and this isn’t really “new” – just new to me.

The card links directly to Google’s severe or public alerts pages.

What’s interesting too, is that this weather alert appeared before any of the other severe weather alerts, including my favorite, Onguard Weather Alerts.

Google Now is an Android 4.1+ feature, so you’ll need Jelly Bean to run the app on your device. One of the reasons I encourage you to upgrade your Android experience by upgrading your device.

Check your Google Now settings to make sure you’re getting public alerts, or even the many other cards. To check your settings, open Google Now (long press on home), click menuSettingsGoogle Now > turn on Google Now or click a feature.

With cards like these, quick access to Google’s vast database of information, and helpful “do this” features, Google Now is quickly becoming one of my most-used apps. I love being able to say, “Google, text _______, I’m running late and I’ll be there in 5 minutes,” and Google Now does my bidding.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.

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