Today Google Now showed up in earnest on my phone and for the first time I realised just how useful it could be, and how much potential it has.
For the uninitiated Google Now is a personal information manager that tries to give you relevant information at the moment you need it. It hooks into your Google profile and gives you information such as your upcoming appointments, travel times to appointments and sports scores based on your perceived interests. For the conspiracy theorists it’s potentially creepy. For the rest of us it promises to be super useful. (Read more at the Google Now page, or search for it on Google for the varying opinions on it.)
Anyway, back to today. This morning I was at a meeting, so it happens, at Google’s South African offices. I had another appointment scheduled for 30 minutes after that and I had to get across town for it. 12:30pm comes and I make my graceful exit. As I’m walking out the door my phone pings. I look. It’s Google Now telling me that I probably need 25 minutes driving time to make my next meeting and urging that I leave. Below that is a link to the navigation directions to my next meeting, based on the venue I’d put into my calendar. And below that contact information for the person I was meeting.
I’ve had Google Now installed for a few months now and it’s been mostly an interesting distraction. I kind of understood why it was interesting and potentially useful but today I saw it in action and it is cool.
Disclaimer: I may have been at Google this morning but that had no influence on this post.