Google announced this week an interesting new feature that is intended to compete head to head with Apple’s Siri. It’s called Google Now, and it is going to debut on Android 4.1 later in July 2012.
Google Now is a sort of personal assistant that uses a number of ‘cards’ to keep you informed on vital information: weather, appointments, flights, traffic, sports and places. Google Now is designed to anticipate what you are going to need at a given time of day and in a given situation, so that it will show the appropriate card on the screen.
The cool thing about Google Now is that it is does not rely simply on your input. Google Now is able to do searches and various tasks based upon what you have done in the past and on current circumstances. If you searched for a flight to Chicago and you booked it, when you are at the airport, Google Now will give you information on time and gate changes. Also, this new feature will let you know if current traffic conditions are going to mean a longer transit time to the airport, and it will tell you alternate routes to your destination.
Also, the new Google feature will know how you commute from home to work. It will of course tell you how long the commute takes, and it will calculate a faster route if there is a lot of traffic. If you use public transportation, Google Now can tell you when the next bus or train is scheduled to stop.
Google Now is driven by the Knowledge Graph, which features the most powerful and updated algorithms and research at Google. The Knowledge Graph is a comprehensive intelligence database that pulls data from Wikipedia, Freebase and the CIA Factbook. It contains more than 500 million entities and more than 3 billion relational facts. Google claims that the power of The Knowledge Graph will ensure that Google Now can keep pace with Apple’s Siri.