Google Now, Google’s answer to its competitors virtual “Personal Assistant” (it rhymes with Smiri) is a beautiful piece of software and it has become a central part of how I get things done on my Android phones and tablets. It can give me information about where I am, like restaurants, gas stations, entertainment etc. It is my personal assistant and I can utilize it to send emails, messages, check the weather, schedule reminders and appointments and can give you navigation and remember your most visited places to make the whole thing quicker and easier to use. It is well calibrated and seems to be very accurate which makes it a joy to use, plus the UI is really well thought out and the “cards” format is a nice way to ensure that the everyday information is accessible with only a quick gesture.
Recently Google Now has added some new functionality including mobile boarding passes, Recipe suggestion integration, and will aggregate news stories that you have recently searched about on Google. What is great is this works whether you search on your computer, tablet or smartphone. I use Google Now to help make the things quicker and easier for me, so what I do is in the morning before I leave for my day is I check up online about news that has been happening, I look up the different places I need to go that day and I check the weather. By the time I walk out the door I have some news stories that are related to my morning on a Google Now card, I have navigation directions to the businesses and addresses I searched on a card and the weather for my area on a card. This makes it easy for my workflow because I don’t have to do any searching on my commute and I can quickly check when my next appointment is, how to get there and if there is going to be traffic all from the Google Now interface.
In the recent update Google Now applies this to recipes too. So before you get home you can search for information about Salmon or Steak and when you get in you will have a recipe suggestion for the ingredients you inquired about. This is nice for people who aren’t big on seat of the pants cooking but don’t have time to scour for recipes on the web. All of this is adding up to one thing, Google wants to help make your life easier and the more functionality that they add the closer they get. With all the manpower and time they are putting behind Google Now this is going to continue to get stronger and more useful, making our lives that much better. Of course, to get this functionality, you will have to turn on Google’s settings to allow them to remember your search settings and GPS locations but that is a whole other can of worms we can open at a later date; for now just open Google Now, give it a try and enjoy its awesome functionality.