Google Now, the ‘smart’ search-centric virtual (voice) assistant app developed by Google is available within the Google Search mobile application for the Android and iOS operating systems. The highlights of Google Now is that it uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and even to perform actions – by delegating requests to a set of web services.
Besides catering to user-initiated queries, Google Now inertly delivers information to the user, which it predicts (by taking a cue from their search patterns) that they will require. Google Now first launched in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in July 2012 was initially supported on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Later the service was also made available for iOS in April 2013 in an update to the Google Search app.
Google Now: Important Features Integrated through updates
October 29, 2012
In its first update, Google Now brought in the addition of Gmail cards. Cards are displayed on Google Now with information retrieved from the user’s Gmail account, such as flight information, package tracking information, hotel reservations and restaurant reservations.
Other relevant additions included information on concerts, movies, stocks and news cards clearly based on the user’s location and search history; besides creating calendar events using voice input.
December 5, 2012
This update to the Google Search application in fact added several new features to Google Now. Like including cards for: nearby events; airplane boarding passes retrieved from e-mail, performing searching by camera when at a museum or shop; weather forecasts at your upcoming holiday destinations; birthday reminders, etc.
Moreover, a new voice action feature was added that provides the ability to post to Google+, song recognition capabilities, and the ability to scan bar codes. However, the “Search with Camera” feature was removed (for reasons not known) post the Search 2.5 update hit.
April 29, 2013
Google Now was made available for iOS in an update to the operating system’s Google Search application.
Benefits of Google Now
The large picture is that Google Now isn’t just limited to smartphones now as you can take advantage of this tool on your tablet as well with Android 4.1 or a higher OS. So what are you waiting for? Optimize your smartphone with Google Now – all you need to do is ensure that Google Now is using your search history to cater to your requirements. Here are a few simple steps:
- Open the web browser
- Go to history.google.com
- Log into your Google account (if prompted)
- Tap the Settings icon.
- In case the Google Search history is turned off, turn it ON.
- Close the browser
Although much comparisons have been made about Google Now to its IOS counterpart Siri, the basic difference is that it is more of an intelligent virtual assistant than a searching tool (like Google Now). In fact, Siri is designed to send text messages, set reminders, make appointments, etc.
Synopsis: Is Google Now on the way to be the Next BIG thing in smartphone market?
Considering the popularity and the competitiveness Google Now has inspired, it surely is going to be the next big thing in the smartphone market. Not only does it look and sound good, it in fact makes all the right move to make your association with Google even stronger.
Google Now empowers and leverages all of Google’s search data, as well as your personal data when you opt-in to Google’s services. This means Google is capable of displaying all kinds of useful information like your current location, your current profession, and what you are interested in (or looking for) – leading to synchronizing and displaying all the related information – just like a perfect assistant would do.
How has been your experience with Google Now? We’d love to hear from you.
Todd Riddle is a mobile application developer associated with a leading custom mobile app development company. He leverages the power of Android application development to gain business advantages and believes that best apps are result of collaborative efforts. In his spare time, he writes about anything and everything related to Android.