#google now

Google Operating System:

"If you use Google Now on your mobile device, you can see certain Now cards on your desktop computer if you’re signed into Chrome, including weather, sports scores, commute traffic, and event reminders cards. Some of these cards may be based on the location of your mobile device. Google Now on Chrome shows a subset of the Now cards you see on your mobile device, which uses your device’s location. You can edit your location settings (Location Reporting and Location History) on your Android or iOS device at any time," informs Google.


Mat Honan:

Google’s native apps, on the other hand, were pretty great. I loved Glass for (very basic) rapid-fire email replies. The navigation stuff was aces. And the Google Now for your face is incredible — its ambient location awareness, combined with previous Google searches, means extremely relevant notifications come to your attention in a way they just can’t on a smartphone, unless you wear your smartphone on your face. If you want to know what Glass is really, really good at, it’s Google Now for your face. You are so going to love Google Now for your face.

Google Now on your phone is fantastic. Google Now even more accessible, whether that be on your wrist or yes, your face, seems like one of the few ways it could be even better.

Also interesting:

Glass kind of made me hate my phone — or any phone. It made me realize how much they have captured our attention. Phones separate us from our lives in all sorts of ways. Here we are together, looking at little screens, interacting (at best) with people who aren’t here. Looking at our hands instead of each other. Documenting instead of experiencing. Glass sold me on the concept of getting in and getting out. Glass helped me appreciate what a monster I have become, tethered to the thing in my pocket. I’m too absent. Can yet another device make me more present? Or is it just going to be another distraction? Another way to stare off and away from the things actually in front of us, out into the electronic ether? I honestly have no idea.

I thought Honan’s take on Glass was both fairly critical and also forward-thinking (with some actual context). And funny. Great piece.

As a culture we have moved into a realm where the consumption of news is a near-constant process. Users with smartphones and tablets are consuming news in bits and bites throughout the course of the day — replacing the old standard behaviors of news consumption over breakfast along with a leisurely read at the end of the day.

Richard Gringras, Senior Director of News & Social Products at Google, talking to Wired about why they decided to kill off Google Reader.

In my own case, this is absolutely accurate. I used to sit in front of Google Reader all day, every day. Then Twitter came along and I just stopped doing that. Most of the news I consume now gets pushed to me from Techmeme or a few other sources via Twitter on my various iOS devices.

I also get a ton of value out of things like Flipboard (which I do read “leisurely” in the morning) and services like Pocket and Instapaper.

In a way, this reminds me of the cable television situation. I have moved from a bundled approach where I get everything from every source dumped in my lap to a à la carte approach, where I choose what I want.

The next evolution of this will be the Google Now approach Gringras hits upon. But I think that will be pretty complicated to get right.



Google Now for iOS Coming Soon?


(Though I thought it was going to be a part of the Chrome iOS app. Or at least the Google Search app. But I’m all in favor of giving Now its own app — one of my favorite things out of Google in recent years.)

Update: It actually does look like it’s a part of the Google Search app in the video. And my understanding is that this is how it will work (coming up from the bottom). I still wouldn’t rule it out in Chrome down the road either.

I’m going to break my rule of not linking to The Wall Street Journal because it’s 2013 and I’m in the forgiving mood. Also, because I find this story by Amir Efrati sort of fascinating.

The article really doesn’t say much, but what I find interesting is how far it goes out of its way not to plainly state the obvious: Google+ is a turd.

I’m not sure why everyone seems afraid to admit this. I think it’s similar to the reason why some seem reluctant to call Windows 8 a turd when it’s already abundantly clear: people are scared that such a bold statement could come back to bite them in the ass. But it won’t. Both are clearly turds.

Google continues to try to cram Google+ down people’s throats, but it just won’t stay down. People are gonna keep puking it right back up. The only compelling feature of Google+ is Hangouts; everything else is a carbon copy of some social activity that people can (and already do) do elsewhere. Google simply made a bad call and started chasing the wrong thing (social) far too late.

If you talk to a number of people inside Google and even those formerly inside the Google+ team, you get the same refrain: it’s just not working. I have over 1.5 million followers and actively share the same posts to Google+ that I share on Twitter and Facebook and even though I have a tiny fraction of the following on those networks, the engagement is night and day.

I wonder how long it will take Google to admit defeat here? I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of the shoving of Google+ in our faces first — Chrome, you’re next. But I really wish Google would take all the energy being put behind this dog and use it to blow out their truly interesting and innovative products, like Google Now.

Great overview by Matthew Panzarino of The Next Web on just how far Google has come with regard to the design of their iOS apps.

Previously, a number of their apps were definitely amongst the worst popular apps on the platform. Now, I’d only count the ones that haven’t been updated to the new design aesthetic — namely Google Voice — in that camp. And the newest ones built from scratch, like Google Maps and YouTube Capture, are very well done.

But while the updated apps certainly look better, performance is still an issue. Gmail, in particular, sucks. There has been a bad bug resulting in the same email being sent twice. In general, the app is way too slow in every regard. Things are constantly refreshing. The only thing that makes it look good to some people is that the actual web app is so much worse.

Still, no doubt things are getting much better. Kudos to Google. I can’t wait for that Google Now iOS app (though perhaps it will be a part of an updated version of the regular old Google app?).

Good find by Cnet’s Stephen Shankland:

It looks like Chrome users, not just Android users, will get access to Google Now, the search giant’s technology for bringing weather reports, trip departure reminders, birthday alerts, nearby restaurant reviews, and more to the attention of Android users.

Google Now is one of the few recent Google software projects I’m legitimately excited about. It’s very well done and seemingly getting better by the day.