A number of things happened at Google’s recent I/O conference, including something that avid Android supporters are calling the “Siri Killer.” This lethal Google weapon is called Google Now and takes direct aim at Apple’s Siri. Only, Google Now will go above and beyond what Siri can do. Is Google Now really a Siri Killer or will Google Now prove to be an annoying failure? Here’s a look at the future of Google and Google Now.
The Difference Between Siri and Google Now
It’s easy to claim that Google has copied Apple or that the two are always creating similar products, but the fact of the matter is that these two companies are starkly different. Google’s approach to artificial intelligence of the Siri-sort is entirely unique. Instead of offering up a service that allows users to ask questions and receive answers (as Siri does), Google Now aims to provide users with answers to questions before those questions are even asked.
For example, if you have a search history of looking up specific sports team stats, your Android phone equipped with Google Now would automatically send you updates for that sports team as they happen. If you used Google Now and were traveling to or from a destination, your phone would send you traffic updates as they occurred along your current route. In short, you won’t have to ask your phone to provide you with information when you use Google Now – details that you want to know about and care about will be sent your way without any kind of interaction from you. If this sounds somewhat intrusive and slightly creepy, Google has worked out these kinks too.
Why Google Now Won’t Be Intrusive
Google has stated that the new Now feature will be entirely customizable according to user preferences. So, if you want to turn off those notifications, you can easily do that by setting up your Now account. Google gathers all of the information that Now will use by keeping track of your search patterns and habits, but, again, this is all customizable and you can tell Google to stop following your every move if you’re worried about giving away too much information.
In short, Google Now will be intuitive whereas Siri must be prompted in order to provide users with answers. Has Google piggybacked on Apple’s Siri with Google Now? Absolutely; but the search giant has also taken that Siri concept quite a few leaps further. How can you get your hands on Google Now? If you have a device that is running Jelly Bean (Android’s latest platform), you can check out Google Now right away. If you have a device that can be upgraded to Jelly Bean, you can upgrade and then take Google Now for a spin. If you don’t have a Jelly Bean equipped device, there’s some talk that Google might throw Google Now into an app bundle for Android -- and possibly for iOS as well. The question now is: will Apple try to one up Google Now? Also, will Google Now prove to be all that Google has stated it will be? I’m looking forward to finding out the answers to these questions soon.