The Future of Google Now

Google Now Search Bar

Google Now is one of the most innovative, useful features to be released in the last few years. It truly makes your smartphone a smart phone. It provides you with information before you even ask for it. It saves you from being stuck in traffic, fumbling through your email to find your plane ticket, and even helps you remember where you parked your car. What else can Google do to make it better?

Google just applied for a patent for “active watching,” to help better pinpoint where input for a task is coming from so as to get better results in speech-to-text. What else could be in store?

I would love to see the current features be fine-tuned, and be made better. For example, currently you can search for flights right from Google Now. However, once you find one and want to book it, you have to go to the site that Google found the particular flight from and book it from there. It’d be nice if I could tell Google “Find me a flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles next Tuesday afternoon for under $200 and book it,” and it’d go ahead and do it, sending me a confirmation email afterwards. Is this the ultimate form of laziness? Maybe. But would it be cool? Absolutely! This could then tie into better usage on Android Wear devices.

Our own Scott Webster says he’d like to be able to ask “Where’s my wife?” and Google Now would show him on a map where she is (with the person’s location settings turned on for sharing). This could be useful for so many reasons, but particularly in emergencies if your loved one is lost.

AndroidGuy Mitch Montague would like to have the ability to change the phrase “Okay, Google” to anything he’d like such as “Hey Nexus.” He also wants to see the ability to change system functions, such as turning Wi-Fi on and off, exist natively in the app (considering you can currently do this by other means).

Our Cooper Le says he’d like to see offline support, to set things such as alarms or reminders without a data connection.

Rob Vanasco would like to see better natural conversation, such as Google Now asking for clarification to a question it doesn’t understand, or ask for more details to give you a better result.

Jason Lund loves Google Now, but feels he doesn’t think about it enough to use it. Some way for Google to prompt him to use it would be good.

Henry Wiygul wants inter-app communication, so that if you find a great article while in Chrome, you can ask Google to “Share this on Twitter” without leaving Chrome, similar to what Project Hera is.

What features would you like to see? Do you use Google Now on a regular basis?

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