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How Would You Improve Google Now?

Steven Blum
13

Android 4.1 / Jelly Bean is being installed on more and more devices every day, and a lot of people are getting to use its most significant feature: Google Now. Part Siri-competitor, part mind-reader, Google Now will tell you how long it'll take you to get to work, what the weather is like, and offer fun tips in your neighborhood. While the service has unbelievable potential, Google's been slow to roll out new features. As of now, the app basically just tells you the weather and offers transport recommendations.

But some users have already gotten a taste of Google's broader vision. On a Reddit thread, someone said they'd been tipped by Google Now about how to get to the nearest H&M store. Turns out, the user's girlfriend had been shopping on H&M on her Chrome browser at home, and that's why Google Now had told him how to get there. This suggests that Google is already analyzing our search habits to find good recommendations – which could make the feature much, much more amazing.

 

Imagine you've been searching for a pizza place on your browser at home. You go out for a drive and Google Now alerts you when you're a mile away from that same pizza place and asks if you'd like directions to it. That's really just the tip of the iceberg: I can imagine this service becoming even more useful in the coming weeks and months. Google Now could...

  • Alert you when you're near a movie theater playing a film you've recently searched for.
  • Tell you which nearby store has an item you've been looking for online.
  • Let you know when airfare has dropped to a vacation destination you've been Googling.
  • Alert you of road closures and train delays.

But really, there are so many ways this service could be improved. If you worked at Google, what features would you add to "Now"?

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Comments

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  • Ti Mo Jul 23, 2012 Link

    And I still only get the weather :( Is it possible that the service only fully works in the US? Like for stuff like the pizza place, h&m or subway stations that are near you?

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  • Ti Mo Jul 23, 2012 Link

    Ok so I just googled: dear google now: I really like to use the subway and bus system in berlin.

    I hope Google Now takes the hint :)

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  • Eric McBride Jul 23, 2012 Link

    Right now, the sports scores and things like that apparently only work in the US. In Germany, I only get weather and popular locations around me. Hopefully we get more features for Europe soon.

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  • Irinei Kalachov Jul 23, 2012 Link

    Hope I'll at least get the weather here in Russia:)

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  • Steven Blum Jul 23, 2012 Link

    Right, I know that a lot of the features haven't been rolled out yet, especially internationally, but what would you LIKE to see?

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  • chris dillon Jul 23, 2012 Link

    It would be nice to have Google Now direct you to the nearest theatre, showing a movie you just recently searched. But what if you could prompt G.N. to compare ticket prices and find the cheapest theatre within a designated radius. Now that you have found the best deal, G.N. asks you if you would like to order your tickets before you arrive. You then walk in and pull up a Q.R. code on your phone, which the attendant scans, as you barely brake stride on your way to your seat. Google Now has the potential to upgrade our lives, not just our phones.-Chris Dillon

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  • Steven Blum Jul 23, 2012 Link

    Awesome idea, Chris. You should work at Google. :)

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  • Eric McBride Jul 23, 2012 Link

    Maybe he does! :-D

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  • TheTruthSquad Jul 23, 2012 Link

    I want the video camera to video my golf swing in slow motion and play it back for tigers teacher. He will then analyze my golf swing and email me how to make the corrections.
    I would also like the camera to analyze my facial and body features and find me a beautiful girlfriend.

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  • Steven Blum Jul 23, 2012 Link

    Dale, one can dream.

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  • Tyler Jul 23, 2012 Link

    How is the battery life with GN? I imagine a lot of it's info is based on location. Is it using telephone networks or straight GPS? GPS KILLS battery life.

    I guess my biggest concern is battery life. If they don't already, there needs to be a widget to turn off/on GN easily so that when you're at a ball game or in the movies your phone isn't wasting data. Sure you could go into air plane mode but then you wouldn't get potentially important/emergency phone calls/texts.

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  • CJ Brown Jul 30, 2012 Link

    Google needs to make these Cellular Service Providers & Smart Phone Manufacturers implement software updates sooner & better without causing Consumers grief (& if an electronic good we have is so out of date? then offer a reasonable buy back / trade in / upgrade plan that is more Consumer friendly)....

    That & hurry up with getting Google Fiber Optics available all over the place ;-)

    https://fiber.google.com/about/

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  • Ricky Aug 9, 2012 Link

    Well I have a great ideals. But first only MAKE IT FOR ANDROID ONLY NOT APPLE. PEOPLE WILL SWITCH

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