While Google Now has grown a following thanks to its timely suggestions and relevant information, it hasn’t exactly grown by leaps and bounds, partly because of the limited supply of apps that actually integrate with Google‘s smart assistant, if you could call it that. Things might change soon, now that Google has, at least informally, revealed that it plans to open up the API for Google Now for other app developers. It’s a feature that is truly a long time coming, something that Google Now could have suggested to its own masters.
Google Now’s functionality primarily revolves around presenting timely and relevant data to users when they open it up or swipe to it, unlike other virtual assistants that require you to ask it first. But the data that comes from apps is more or less limited to those that have been invited to Google Now’s exclusive party, first only Google’s own apps and later on as much as 40 new apps. Considering the thousand of apps on Google Play Store, that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.
Allowing developers to integrate with Google Now will really be like opening the floodgates of information, which sadly has the potential to drown the user as well. This is especially true when rival apps are involved. For this, Google Now will rely on users’ usage pattern to help it determine which results to prioritize.
Speaking of predicting abilities, Google plans to make Google Now even more sensitive to particular users’ habits and predisposition. For example, if it knows that the user likes being at the airport 2 hours before a flight, it will bring up the reminders at that appropriate time range. It’s not enough to actually just know things. Google Now must also learn which are more relevant to the user and when to bring them up.
As for deciding which kinds of data or cards Google Now gets? Google relies on user studies as well as their own personal experience. So we might very well see info about theme park rides, because Google Director for Product Management Aparna Chennapragada got inspired by a visit to Disneyland.
VIA: The Next Web