During Google I/O last week, Google quietly announced Google Now, a promising alternative to Apple’s much-vaunted personal assistant, Siri.
A lot of people fell in love with Siri when she, or it, was launched with iPhone 4S last year. As usual, Apple’s competitors scrambled to come up with an alternative, though no one has been able to match Siri in terms of accuracy.
And now maybe Google as done it. From what I can see, Google Now can do more things than Siri, and is more customizable, user-friendly, fast and generally helpful. It’s an advanced Siri-style assistant that collects information about you and puts it into at least 10 “cards,” with more coming in the future.
For example, enter information about a flight and Google Now calculates the travel time to airport based on live traffic conditions, and sends you a notification if you’re running late. If your flight is canceled or postponed, Google Now will tell you that, too.
Not flying — just walking? Based on your location, Google Now can show you you nearby bus and subway stations and departure times. If you love Sports, Google Now will show you a card with real-time results, and will give you the option to buy game tickets.
Google Now also supports cards for weather, translation, currency, time at home, places and appointments. To display them, Google collects information based on your current location, location history, Web History and other Google services.
Google Now appears to be at least one step smarter than Siri. It will ship with the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.1, and can be tested sometime this month on Google’s Nexus 7 tablet or the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, assuming the Apple-Samsung war ever ends.
- Google Now Official Page [Google]