Google Now shows a lot of contextually relevant information in an easy to read, card interface. The beautiful Google Now backgrounds from artist Brent Couchman, are quite stunning, but limited when it comes to the global reach of Android. But it’s all about context in Google Now, and it appears that Google is working on using contextually relevant photos from your location to display in Google Now.

First reported in the US, where a reader from the Google Operating System blog saw changes in Miami, it appears that based on the time of day, you may actually see different photos of your location in Google Now. In Australia, it seems that Sydney is the only place which has customised Google Now backgrounds, with our readers supplying these backgrounds for Sydney which seem to show one for the morning and one in the evening :

For those outside of Sydney, you’ll generally see the customised illustrated backgrounds which we’ve all come to know and love. If you travel to cities such as Sydney or further afield to San Francisco or London for example, you’ll see the custom illustrations or photos like those seen above. These photos or illustrations as you can see do change based on the time of day.

If you would like to play around with the custom Google Now images, you can use apps like Fake GPS (Thanks Greg), which is available in Google Play, and spoof your location to one of the cities mentioned. You can also change the time on your phone to get the different backgrounds to appear.

It would be great to see some more diversity in the Google Now backgrounds, possibly even crowd sourcing them from Google+. We’ll wait and see.

Source: Google Operating System.
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    I’m in Bangkok and am getting a custom photo there too.

    Awesome! I was getting sick of the old minimalist mountain pic.


    Who cares.

    Give me a developer interface to put my own cards into the google now screen. A locked down, proprietary, walled garden, no matter how pretty the picture, is a weak and febrile thing.


    Meanwhile, in Melbourne, we still don’t even have public transport times integrated with Google Now. STILL.


    Indeed. That’s PTV being idiots and can’t/won’t integrate with Google Maps APIs.


    Ask the Victorian public transport government body (or whatever they’re called) for an explanation why they don’t upload their data to google transit, instead of complaining about it. Just a thought 🙂


    Would you like to see the paper trail? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve emailed Public Transport Victoria, Victoria’s Department of Transport and even the bloody Victorian Public Transport Ombudsman. It almost got to the point where I knew staff at PTV on a first name basis.

    Their explanation? We provide blah blah blah. Our service is blah blah blah. As yet we haven’t blah blah blah.


    That’s a shame. But at least you now know it’s not coming.


    Not necessarily. We have a new government. I’m hoping this issue is addressed.