Google Now: a real intelligent assistant
Some of you may have noticed that I am an iPhone fanboy, well because I own one and it’s pretty darn awesome. One of the major changes to iOS 5 version that came along last year was Siri, the “intelligent assistant.” Siri allows you to ask it questions, and get responses based on queries it makes to different sources. The big problem that I have had with Siri is that it hardly works. Most of the time whatever I say just ends up being a Google search.
Let’s pretend that Siri works as it’s supposed to, or that in the new iOS 6 Apple will improve Siri so it works better, and is more accurate. The core technology will still be a query based system prompted by the user asking questions when I need answers. It’s a nice-to-have, but imagine a system that knows the answer to what your asking before you ask it - that is Google Now.
I am a big Google fanboy too, I always have been, way before the iPhone. But I don’t own an Android device, although often times I find Android tech to be pretty awesome and sometimes wish I did. Which brings me to the point of this post. At the Google I/O a new Google product is being launched, and this will really be the future of what an “intelligent assistant” should be.
Google Now, which will be Google’s version of Siri, will be part of the new Android 4.1 version, code named Jelly Bean. Google Now should be a huge leap ahead of Siri because instead of pinging Siri for questions and answers, Google Now will automatically alert you based on your user history for things important to you. For example, if you have a flight at a certain time, Google Now will alert you if the flight has been delayed. A better example would be, Google Now will know how you get to work each day from maps - so Google Now will tell you ahead of time if the road you normally take has an accident, or bad traffic, and can even offer alternative routing. Maybe you search often about baseball stats, Google Now will alert you to upcoming games and scores automatically.
Android 4.1 is supposed to begin shipping sometime in July, or later in Quarter 3, but it will be happening this year. There will be a whole lot more to the Jelly Bean update, but I think I am most excited about Google Now. How about you, how do you feel about Google Now? Does this blow Siri out of the water? Let me know in the comments below!