What is Google Now?

It was launched as an Android only app last year, but Google is reportedly working to launch its Google Now app on its home page. Exploring discovery as an alternative to search, Google is working to translate Google Now Android app's ability to take a user's current location and previous search histories, email content, and any other information Google collects to estimate travel times, weather conditions, interesting events, restaurants in the vicinity, and more.

PopSci hailed it as one its Innovations of the Year in 2012, and with the tag line, "Just the right information at just the right time," Google Now is a real time discovery engine that has received extremely positive reviews since it launched for the Android. 

Essentially, Google is using all the data they've collected over the years for their advertising sales and are now using to provide information on a user's environment in real time. This allows Google and Google Now to anticipate your needs, and maybe even will start advising you on what you should be needing/wanting. 

Whereas Siri needs to be asked to give you information, Google Now sends alerts to inform you, the Android app runs in the background, silently tracking usage behavior, travel patters, locations, calendar events, emails, and searches. The home page equivalent would likely require a user to set their location and time zone or allow Google to set it automatically.

Given how much time people spend simply searching through Google, this could be a powerful new frontier for Google, this creates another platform for Google to collect data on users, as they customize their recommendations and send data back to Google that can be used to further finetune its advertising and search algorithms. 

Google Now is not the only contender for replacing search, but it is going to be a powerful one. Google's push forward in augmented reality and real time information is more publicly represented through the Google Glass, but Google Now will be a far more accessible tool for the masses.

Check out the official video for Google Now, and tell me if you are excited about Google Now? Discuss below or tweet with me @shwetika.


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Shwetika Baijal

Shwetika is PolicyMic's first columnist and writes for the Millenials and the Media column. She focuses on how the media frames policy and cultural issues, how the media's framing effects public opinion, and in turn how public opinion affects the policies and issues under discussion.

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