“It’s one thing to have heaps of information in the palm of your hand, but it’s a completely different thing to have it sorted and presented to you for when you actually need it.”
When you open the updated Google Search app for the first time, Google Now makes you forget what you were about to google with a splash screen showcasing all the wonderful things it can do. Once you set the service up, the top of a couple of cards pop up at the bottom of the screen. Swiping up gets you into Google Now which itself has a wonderful and easy to use interface. At this stage, not many cards will appear and it takes a while before you start seeing new ones because Google needs to collect a heap of data from you, from google searches to where you go during the day. Apart from the obvious privacy concerns that may be raised, the constant use of Location Services on your iOS device (even when the app is force-quitted) depletes your battery in world-record time. Thankfully, you can use the Feedback tool found in the app’s settings to voice your concerns to Google. Google will definitely need to work on that in upcoming updates, given that the service doesn’t appear to affect the battery performance of Android-powered phones.
With the nature of how Google Now works, you could be forgiven for believing that this is a precursor to Google Glass, Google’s augumented-reality glasses that streams information that you need right above your line of sight.
Even though it is an excellent product to use, provided that you have an infinite power source and you’re not worried about how Google will use your data, it’s easy to start wondering if and how Apple could make an equivalent service. Although in the past, information-based services have never been Apple’s strong point, Apple Maps for example. As much as I’d like to see Google Now be better integrated with iOS, it seems unlikely since Apple have shown that they want to distance themselves from Google through the creation of their own maps service.
“With the nature of how Google Now works, you could be forgiven for believing that this is a precursor to Google Glass.”
In conclusion, Google Now has the real potential of becoming your companion of your everyday life by giving you the information you need when you need it. However its practicality is held back on iOS devices because of the inefficient way that it collects data about you in order to do its job. I look forward to Google improving the service and making it optimized for iOS devices so it can do its thing without being a burden on its resources.