The song was generally well received by music critics who complimented its genre mixing production as well as its aurally remarkable US pop influence. Some of them also described the song as a "pop-electro-rock masterpiece" and called it the best Sugababes single in years. Upon its release, "About You Now" became the group's sixth UK number one hit and highest-charting single since 2005's "Push the Button." It remained atop the UK Singles Chart for four weeks. It also reached the top of the charts in Hungary, as well as the top ten in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and Spain. The Sugababes' highest-selling single to date, it sold almost 500,000 copies.
"About You Now" was nominated for a 2008 BRIT Award for Best British Single. In the 2009 edition of Guinness Book of World Records, "About You Now" was listed as the "first track by a British pop act to top the singles chart solely on downloads". The song was also named as the "biggest chart mover to the number one position in the UK". In December 2009, it was revealed by BBC that "About You Now" was the UK's fifth most-played song of the decade (2000–09). An acoustic version of the song appears as a bonus track on the group's sixth studio album Catfights and Spotlights (2008).
"About You Now" was written by Lukasz Gottwald and Cathy Dennis, while production was helmed by the former under his pseudonym Dr. Luke with additional production from Steven Wolf. Recorded at the Sarm West Studios in London, it was mixed by Kurt Read with further assistance from Aniela Gottwald.Bass, drums, and programming were handled by Luke, while guitars were led by Tina Kennedy and Luke. Additional keyboard contribution came from Eric Kupper. "About You Now" was described by PopJustice as a "proper pop song".
"About You Now" received generally favorable reviews from both music critics and fans alike. PopJustice reviewer Peter Robinson who noted a similarity to Kelly Clarkson's 2004 single "Since U Been Gone", described the song as a "pop-electro-rock masterpiece" and dubbed it "the best Sugababes single" since 2002's Round Round. He praised the song's unselfconsciousness and its "very pleased-to-be-exactly-what-it-is" attitude and noted that "it doesn't sound anything like what the Sugababes have done before but it is instantly recognisable as a Sugababes song." Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy summed it as "a pop dish fit for a king [...] the lyrics are Waterman-esque perfect pop with the added spice of Sugababes kinkiness." He remarked that while "About You Now" lacked "the sauciness of a "Push the Button" or spiky attitude of "Hole in the Head," it makes up for it with robot voice effects, a pulsating electronic backbeat and a chorus so addictive that it should probably be taken away and labelled a class A drug."
James Cabooter from the Daily Star described it as "damn near perfect pop" and found that the song "dabbles with a heavier US guitar sound. Adam Webb, writing for Yahoo! Music, called the song a "classic Sugababes: ballsy, tuneful, sassy, slightly amateurish around the edges and generally better than 99.9 per cent of whatever else masquerades under the title of pop music in 2007." Though he noted a lack of edge, blunted by the departure of former band member Mutya Buena, Webb went on declaring it "a short, sharp jolt of classic, perfect pop," giving it seven stars out of ten. By contrast, IndieLondon gave a mixed reception to the song, writing that "it taps into a breezier sound that’s designed to fizz with synths, guitars and perky beats. But it doesn’t work as well as past hits and lacks the same crossover appeal of earlier cuts "Round, Round" or, most notably, "Freak like Me." Tom Young of BBC called "About You Now" a "fierce opening shot. It’s one of their strongest tunes to date, and no surprise [...] number one." In 2008, "About You Now" was nominated for a BRIT Award for Best British Single, eventually losing to Take That's "Shine."
The Sugababes performing "About You Now" during their Change Tour in 2008.
"About You Now" made its first chart appearance in the United Kingdom on 17 September 2007 ― for the week ending dated 22 September 2007. It debuted at number thirty five on the UK Singles Chart after the release of a remix package for legal download. A week later, a major boost in downloads, induced by the official release of the digital single, helped catapulting the song to the top of the British charts. This feat made the Sugababes only the fourth act and second homegrown act to chart at number-one on download sales alone. "About You Now" became the band's fourth collective chart-topper following "Freak like Me" (2002), "Round Round" (2002), "Hole in the head" (2003) and "Push the Button" (2005) and spent four weeks at number-one, surpassing the chart run of latter single. According to The Official Charts Company, it was ranked both Britain's sixth most-downloaded and sixth best-selling single of 2007. Having sold more than 485,000 copies on the UK alone as of 2011, it ranks as their best-selling single.
In Ireland, "About You Now" debuted at number ten on the Irish Singles Chart on downloads alone. A week later, it climbed to number five with the physical release, and later peaked at number two for two weeks, becoming the Sugababes' fourth single to peak on particular position. In Austria, it debuted at number 13 on the Austrian Singles Chart where it peaked at number 4 in its third week, becoming the band's third biggest hit there after "Push the Button" and "Overload". "About You Now" saw similar success in Germany where it also peaked at number four on German Singles Chart, eventually becoming the Sugababes' third biggest hit there, again behind "Push the Button" and "Overload". On the Australian ARIA chart, the song peaked at number 57. In New Zealand—despite spending 21 weeks on the charts—it only managed to peak at number 18. On 13 July 2008, "About You Now" re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 48, moving to number 34 the next week after being prominently featured in an episode of Hollyoaks. This version, recorded for Radio 1's Live Lounge, was used for the funeral of Max Cunningham.
The music video for "About You Now" was directed by Marcus Adams and shot on 24 August 2007 at the Festival Hall in Waterloo in London, England. Although various pictures of the clip were leaked on the net the following days, it was not until 6 September the full video made its world premiere via internet. By 7 September 2007 the video had also debuted on music channels. The video is dedicated to the late Tim Royes, who directed the videos for the Sugababes's 2006 singles "Red Dress" and "Easy". The Nokia 7500 mobile phone is used by the two actors in the video; the male actor has the black model whereas the female actor has the white model.
Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove covered "About You Now" on the EP About You Now. It was released as the fourth and final single from the soundtrack on 5 February 2009. The original lyrics were slightly altered to be made more suitable due to Cosgrove's younger audience. Cosgrove's version was promoted heavily on Nickelodeon, where the music video was played during commercial breaks. "About You Now" was featured on the hit compilation album, Now That's What I Call Music! 30. It is her favorite song from the soundtrack.
Cosgrove's version was met with generally positive reception, critically and commercially. In the US, the single has become her highest peaking song to date, reaching a height of 47 on Billboard'sHot 100 singles chart. It is also her first single to chart in the United Kingdom, where it debuted and peaked at number 79 on the official singles chart. The song was heavily promoted by Cosgrove. During her first ever live performance, Cosgrove performed the song at the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade In another promotional attempt, on 5 February 2009, Cosgrove released a promotional extended play, titled after the song. The EP, which released exclusively onto iTunes, featured remixes of "About You Now" and "Stay My Baby", "F.Y.I." and "Party Girl". Aside from this performance, Cosgrove also performed the song on The Today Show on 6 September 2010, along with future single "Kissin U", and an unreleased track, "BAM", both off of her debut studio album Sparks Fly released on 27 April 2010.
The music video, directed by Bille Woodruff premiered on Nickelodeon on 5 December 2008, following the premiere of Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh. It features Mexican singer Diego Boneta as her love interest. In the music video, Miranda is with her friends at the mall where, simultaneously, so is her ex-boyfriend. The best friends look at a necklace then go to a photo booth to take pictures. The pictures of two girls acting like they are dating remind Miranda about her break up with her old boyfriend, wherein she mistakenly accused him of cheating on her. They then go on an escalator and Miranda spots her ex. She texts him that she got it all wrong with him and he locates her and gives her the necklace that Miranda saw in the beginning of the video that she liked. They end up getting back together at the end of the video.
The original version performed by the Sugababes was a massive hit throughout the UK and Europe. The popularity of the song compelled many artists from all different genres from all over Europe to do their own versions. Below is a list of some of the most notable covers.
Rachel Tucker performed this song in the first week of live shows, on BBC1's I'd Do Anything.