Install and Use Google Now on Rooted Android ICS Devices

Google Now was launched with Android Jelly Bean at Google I/O Conference 2012 as a Siri competitor. But the sad part was that the app was launched only for Jelly Bean devices. If you are one of the lucky ones who own a Jelly Bean device or have received an update to Jelly Bean for their Androids, you can use Google Now and enjoy all its features. However, majority of the devices are still on ICS (and lower) builds. So, how about getting this cool new Google offering on an ICS phone?

Google Now

If you have a Rooted Android ICS device, you can have the taste of Google Now on your smartphone and try it out on your own. As Jelly Beans library files are not available in Ice Cream Sandwich, voice search will not work but other than that you are good to go.

Google Now on Android ICS

As we will have to edit some system files on phone, you must have an app installed on your phone that can read, edit and save system files with root access. ES File Manager is a great app to read and modify system files and we have already covered how to activate its root mode.

Step 1: Open your Android root folder and navigate to /system. Here look for a file saying build.prop and open it in a text editing application. If you are using ES File explorer, open it using ES File Editor.

System Build

Step 2: Now scroll down and search for the line = 15  and change it to = 16. Finally, save the file using the menu button and return to /system folder. You might take a backup of the file manually, but one of the advantages of using ES File Explorer is that it takes care of the backup itself.

Change Build

Step 3: Having done that, navigate to /system/app folder and rename GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk  toGoogleQuickSearchBox.apk1.


Step 4: Now download and install this APK file on your Android. After installing the APK file, open the build.prop file again and change back to 15. After saving the file, reboot your Android device. If you don’t revert it back to 15, apps like YouTube and Google+ will give force close error.

Google Now Working

You can now open the Google app and start using Google Now on your Android device.


As Google Now is not meant for ICS devices, you might experience some lags and false network errors while using it. You can go ahead and use the trick to get a feel of Google Now as all you need to do to revert back to ICS Google Search is delete GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk from /system/app and restore the backed up APK.

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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