Google Now, the intelligent personal assistant for Android and iOS, has received a multitude of updates, making it capable of a variety of features that have been appreciated by members of the tech community. One of the features now applied to the application is designed to make users commutes simpler.
The application enables iPhone or Android owners to enter their work address, and the device will constantly be calculating the time required to travel there depending on the volume of traffic and distance. It also supports public transit and cycling routes. Users can also share their routes with acquaintances. Google Now also attempts to simplify larger scale travel. If a user is planning on traveling via airplane, the application will track the flight, send the user notifications suggesting when they should leave for the airport, and to have their boarding pass ready. It will also send the user information about car rentals, hotels, recommendations for places to visit, and events happening in the area.
If the user is outside of the country, Google Now can provide cards for translation and currency conversion. The device can also track how many miles a user has walked and/or biked in a month and provide a summary once a month. Whitson Gordon from Lifehacker compliments the ability for the gadget to encourage exercise, yet notes that if this feature is enabled, Google is logging everywhere you go. Gordon urges users that if that makes users uncomfortable, then they should make sure to disable the feature.
Google Now has another feature aimed at simplifying a daily task, the tracking of sports and stock. Users can enter markets and/or sport teams that they wish to track, and the application will monitor and update the user on the performance of these subjects. It also provides links to Google Finance while tracking stocks to enable the user to pursue more information on their investments or interests. The accessory has a feature directed at facilitating shopping both online and in-store. The competitor to Apple’s Siri, will track packages the user has ordered online. It will also update them of stores open in the nearby area, and whether an item searched by the user is available nearby.
The personal assistant provides functions tailored for frequent watchers of movies and television. Users can search TV shows or movies and Google Now will provide information about it, and, if requested, will send notifications when selected TV shows premiere, or a selected movie is released. It also has the capacity to adjust its alerts based on whether the user watches programs on Hulu, Netflix, or a television provider. If a user has a network-connected television, the application can “listen” to whatever program the user is watching, recognize it, and provide information about it. It can also provide information about books, authors, and music upon a search and request. Websites, such as Lifehacker and TechTimes, have praised Google Now for its array of features. They also attribute the application for making stressful tasks simpler, and enabling a more connected and efficient populous.
By Andres Loubriel