Menu
Google Now gets smarter for real-world scenarios

Google Now gets smarter for real-world scenarios

New features on mobile make Google Now more useful

Google Now's mobile software will tell you where it thinks you parked your car.

Google Now's mobile software will tell you where it thinks you parked your car.

Whether you've lost your car or lost your Internet connection, Google Now is getting a little more helpful.

Google Now is an app for mobile devices that acts like a personal assistant, looking at things like your location, calendar and email to remind you that you have a lunch date, for instance -- and what time you should leave to get there.

The search giant is dipping its hands deeper into its trove of user data, trying to make Google Now more useful with a few new features.

An update Monday will tell you when products you were shopping for online are available nearby in the real world. Search for a particular blender, for instance, and Google Now will notify you when you walk past a Williams-Sonoma store that carries it.

Google Now provides its alerts with "cards," and Google wants them to work even when you're offline. With another update, Google said those cards will stay loaded on the device when you lose cellular service, instead of disappearing. In online comments, users generally applauded the enhancement.

The service also wants to solve an annoying problem for the absentminded: forgetting where you parked your car. Google Now uses a smartphone's motion sensors to try to detect when someone leaves a moving vehicle, then keeps a record of it for later.

Google says you may see the parking location card even if you didn't park your car -- like after you got off a bus or were dropped off by a friend, for instance.

The new features are currently offered for Android only, and you have to update your Google Search app for them to work.

Kinks aside, the updates add up to a more useful Google Now. They're incremental changes but show the software increasing its awareness as a personal assistant, said Scott Strawn, an industry analyst with IDC.

Google's recent acquisition of DeepMind Technologies, an artificial intelligence company, could help Google deliver even more contextually aware information.

Some users might find that creepy, but "convenience can trump other issues," Strawn said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicese-commerceMobile OSesMusic and audioDeepMindmobilesocial mediainternetsearch enginesmobile applicationsAndroid OSGoogle

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments