Thursday, 17 January 2013

Google Now - making life convenient

I first heard about Google Now a couple of months ago and to be honest - I didn't really give it much thought. Not because it wasn't a good idea, just it wasn't particularly exciting - I didn't think. Anyway, a week ago I woke up to a notification on my HTC One X telling me that my train from home to work was running on time and should take 123 minutes.

Intrigued I clicked on it and found myself in 'Google Now'.

Google uses the information about what you've searched, viewed and even what's in your emails to compile this information. Scary? That depends where you stand in the data privacy debate as the privacy police will have a field day over Google Now but personally I don't care. As always with these debates - no-one single person is looking through your information in the knowledge that you are being watched. It is simply a computer that scans for words, phrases etc and makes assumptions based on that.
      I see the product as useful and time-saving. It makes my life more convenient. Instead of me having to search for the weather - I get told what it'll be, and what I should consider taking before I've even woken up. I will be told if my train is delayed, and even if I'm near a popular photo hotspot. I now get notifications about Newcastle games - when I should leave and what route would be best to take - alongside scores and results.

Obviously there are still some teething problems. Google has made the software sensitive and therefore if I searched for Arsenal information, I would then pick up Arsenal related notifications for example. Options to set up more preferences would be well received. But for a early version it really is extraordinary.
Either way, Google Now is exciting. The best thing about it - it will only get better. More features will be added, and the current ones will be improved. Now Google, go for it. 

If you can't see 'Google Now' on the menu - don't panic. It's under the 'Google' icon:

Thanks for reading. Keen to hear any thoughts - in agreement or contrary. If you want - just give me a quick follow in the top right.

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