Google Now is one of the newest services to come from Google and they are hoping to advance their way further into the smart phone market. While Google Now isn’t itself a smart phone or a physical form of technology it is a graphical interface that is designed to be used on smartphones and android devices. It is most comparable to the Siri feature of the iPhone line, but it also brings some other things to the table as well.
Back in 2011 there were several reports that surfaced stating that Google was working on enhancing the android platform by adding in voice search. At that time Siri had only been out for a few months and Google was hoping that they would be able to compete in the market by creating comparable software. What came out of this small project was that Google created an all new interface and software called Google Now. The first debut of Google now was in June, 2012 when it was released with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update.
The easiest way to explain Google Now is as an integrated and smart personal assistant that you can carry inside of your phone. As of right now Google Now can be used within the Google search application on android phones running 4.1 or newer. Because the application is based within a firmware, it offers lots of opportunity for expansion. While it sounds like it is just a basic system that finds information based on what you say, it’s actually much more.
The main screen of the Google Now shows a series of floating cards that contain information that the user has chosen. Things that we would expect from Google applications such as weather, calendars and events are now all featured on the home screen. This is where it gets pretty cool, Google Now is leveraging the Google Knowledge graph to deliver information to the user that is tailored to what they have been searching. Similar to the way their ads have been evolving to be based on the things you search for, so too will the things that you see in your Google Now screen.
Reception for the Google Now has been very good. With all the flaws and falters that we have seen in past Google Now is changing the way that Google operates. Scott Webster of CNET loved how clean and intuitive the interface was. The only note that was made is that like most new voice recognition software there are still some bugs with the actual command recognition.
Google Now may well take over the getting things done application world in a short period of time. As the apps and abilities begin to migrate across platforms, we can expect to see Google Now evolve, possibly into its own full blow software that could be web based. Additionally it is only a matter of time before Google begins to further integrate their services into the Google Now, include webmaster tools, Google Docs and possible even Google bookmarks.