Changes are in the works for Google Now, the virtual assistant for Android. The app is getting a whole host of new features that are targeted to make this tool a more important and ingrained part of people’s routines every day.
The idea of Google Now is to anticipate the information that people need before they ask for it. Now is going to provide users with the chance to put the app on the front and center of their phones much faster. Google, which had some problems recently with Reader, hopes that if Now is at the center of user activity in Android, it will be used more often.
Right now, people need to unlock their Android phone and swipe the home screen to view the customized assistant. It features various cards that show updates on sports, traffic, tourist attractions, restaurants and reminders, among various other types of information.
The most recent update for Google Now allows you to check with the assistant right from the home screen and to save their most-used cards for quick reference. According to the creator of Google Now, these changes have made people at Google themselves more likely to use it.
The new widget with Google Now brings all of the most important Now cards to the home screen so there is no need to open the app at all.
Google Now can check your calendar on its own, as well as your Gmail correspondence and your location, and can then warn you that there is bad traffic on your route that could make you late for a meeting. This is the sort of anticipatory activity that Google Now can do on a regular basis, which can make it a more central part of your life.
Google Now also is in the process of integrating with Rotten Tomatoes so that movie reviews are shown with trailers and show time information. It’s yet another move by Google to make your life easier, and to make you more likely to use Google for everything you.