Google Now shows Foursquare tips even without Foursquare

Google Now is Google's version of the smart personal virtual assistant, though it doesn't exactly have a personable personality like Siri or Cortana. It makes up for that with smarts, offering recommendations not just when you ask it but sometimes even when you don't. And sometimes it even makes suggestions from sources you probably didn't know about. VentureBeat's Jordan Novet reports seeing Foursquare place recommendations in his Google Now search results. Which he finds strange considering that he doesn't have the Foursquare app installed at all.

Google Now integrates with many apps and services, especially on Android. If you do a search and an integrated app holds some relevant information, Google Now will surface it up to your attention. But in almost all cases, except for three website-based integration, all app integrations require the app to be installed. At least presumably. But even stranger, among the list of integrations, Foursquare is nowhere to be found.

The relationship between Foursquare and Google has been somewhat rocky, ambiguous at best. Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley sold his Dodgeball startup to Google a decade ago but then left with not so happy feelings. At one point in time, Foursquare ditched Google Maps for the open source, crowdsourced OpenStreetMap, though it has come back to the fold. But they have also been buddies as well, particularly over the Foursquare app for Google Glass.

So how would Foursquare feel about this still unannounced feature? So far it has been silent. Most likely, there was a deal between the two companies over the sharing of data. Given how much scrutiny it has come under recently, Google will probably not risk using data without permission.

This new Google Now feature could also reignite speculation about how Google is planning to kill off native apps on mobile and replace them with its core business of search. If Google Now could present relevant information to users even without the corresponding app installed, then there might eventually be little need for dedicated apps as well.

VIA: VentureBeat