Google Now is about giving you just the right information at just the right time. It can show you the day’s weather as you get dressed in the morning, or alert you that there’s heavy traffic between you and your butterfly-inducing date—so you’d better leave now! It can also share news updates on a story you’ve been following, remind you to leave for the airport so you can make your flight and much more. There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most—and the more you use Google Now, the more you get out of it.
Ok, as much as I admire Google for making such a thing work, I am seriously creeped out.
I got used to the fact that (some of) my phone apps know my location1, but Google Now knows so much more. It learns my habits by analyzing search history (on every device on which I’m logged in), it extracts information from my emails (flight tickets and such), and in general provides me with information it knows I might be interested in. And all this from one of the biggest advertising companies in the world.
The fact that Amazon starts to know what kind of music I might be interested in better than me is one thing, but what Google Now does is just a bit too scary for me. My friends think I’m nuts because I’m using DDG as my search engine, and I pay for my email service instead of using free GMail, but somehow I’m starting to feel those were good choices…
- Not sure how this works on Android, but iOS apps always explicitly ask whether they can know my location. I like that. ↩