Monday, July 29, 2013

How to fix Missing Google Now Cards on Android

I had to wait many weeks to receive the updated Google Maps app in my Nexus 4, but Google decided to redeem itself by pushing the new Android 4.3 update to my device the very next day after its official announcement. However, the new Android came with some unexpected and undesired features.

For starters, soon after the update I got an unexpected reboot - something I had never experienced before with the 4.2 version, but that I'm willing to consider a mishap (as long as it never happens again). But even more sadly, my trusted Google Now cards on my home screen widget were missing. As I had been a week in vacations with no internet connection, I though that Google Now might be somewhat confused. But after a couple of days back home, the cards were still not showing - and it was even weirder because I could still see Google Now notifications in the notification bar; and the cards were still showing correctly in the iOS Google app. I tried rebooting, removing and re-adding the widget, and everything else I could thing of, to no avail.

After digging around for a while I came across a suggestion to go into Google Now settings and disable and reenable the Google Now cards.

And that did the trick. In my case I didn't even have to actually do it, as toggling it off showed up a popup stating I would lose my Google Now preferences - and so I canceled the process. But it seems just the hint of turning it off was enough to scare it back into working mode.

Looks like Android is reaching a point where it too will come to rely on "black magic" techniques of "closing and reopening" or "rebooting" to fix things that should simply work - and that we're used to associate with other operating systems. But the important part is that the it was a simple fix, and I hope it can help you should you ever face the same problem.

... Now all that I ask for is to never see that random reboot issue again.

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