Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

“Google Now” Might Be Google’s Most Personalized Feature Yet

The next version of Android will include a smart personal assistant called Google Now that makes assumptions about information users want to find, based on highly personal data like their search history, calendar, location and even location history.

Google Now will come out as part of the new Jelly Bean Android 4.1, which will roll out via an over-the-air update in mid-July.

If it works, this is going to be one of those features that’s totally creepy and totally useful.

For instance, Google Now promises it will figure out when and where a user commutes to work on a daily basis. When the user opens the app at that time, it will display a commute card that computes the current time with traffic and gives a faster route when possible.

Some other examples Google gave today as it debuted the feature at Google I/O:

  • When a user is located at a bus or train station, a Google Now public transportation card will appear that says when the next buses and trains are arriving.
  • As a user walks down the street in a new place, Google Now will suggest points of interest.
  • Once a user searches for a flight, Google Now creates a card for it that is updated with flight status and delays.
  • Google will also determine what sports team a user is most interested in, based on search history, and show a card of scores and upcoming games.
  • There are also cards for travel, translation, etc.

Smart mobile personal assistants are a hotbed of innovation right now, with Siri leading the way on iOS, and start-ups like Cue (formerly Greplin) innovating as well. More on that here.

The new Android Jelly Bean also includes some other personal-assistant-style features, such as a way to quickly email everyone attending a meeting to say you’ll be running late, by pressing a button directly from the notification page.


Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google