“Google What?” the cries ring out, but fear not there’s an explanation. In layman’s terms, Google’s rival to Siri. It’s an application you can get on Android Smartphones that uses your location, local time settings and other features to give you information that you need when you need it.
As indicated in it’s title, Google Now is all about the present. It works by offering a series of “Cards” that you can customise around your life. For example:
The Traffic Card: As Google has an extensive maps feature, it can now monitor traffic to and from certain places. Say you log on to your home wifi and your works wifi everyday. You log off your home WiFi at around 08:30 am and log on to your work’s WiFi at 08:50 am. Google Now will recognise this as your commute to work and prompt you to save “Work” as a location. Then every day at around 08:25 am your Traffic Card will alert you as to how bad traffic might be between the route between home and work. A nifty little tool.
You can also get cards for the Weather, Sports, Time Zones, Currency exchange rates and one of my favourite, the Calendar. You can hook up the calendar on your mobile phone to Google Now so that you never forget an appointment. You get alerts reminding you of appointments for the day and you’re always a step ahead as you’re always aware of upcoming events too.
But how will this fit on to the home page of Google.co.uk? It’s not a mobile phone so can’t guess your commute between home and work. The answer will lie with a Gmail account. Not only this, but with the recent news that Google is discontinuing iGoogle (a previous home dashboard for Google) Google Now could already have been earmarked to replace this.
Sign in to your Google account and bingo, Google Now will display the Weather, Time Zones, Currency etc automatically based on the browser settings of the computer you’re using to access google.co.uk. There may be some manual configuration of the Traffic Card having to manually assign work and home locations but after that, one quick log in at home before you set off to work and all your information is there. Happy Days.