Google Now has been Android’s central personal assistant that gets smarter by the day. Launched back in 2012 at another Google I/O keynote as a standout feature of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and as part of the search giant’s initiative to make good use of all the information it gathers about you and your surroundings, Google Now is getting even more smarter. This is thanks to Now on Tap, a new feature that will have Google Now automatically examining everything happening on your device’s screen at any given moment and providing contextual information based on it.
Restaurant ratings, directions to a place, the latest Box Office blockbuster showing at Imax, that new Paul McCartney song… name it. Google Now will be able to scan the mail hitting your inbox, the Whatsapp chats coming through and even the music playing on your device so as to be in a position to provide any information you need about them in an instant. It contextualizes the information then gathers more data about it from Google servers and relays it to you saving you lots of time that would’ve been wasted firing up a browser to do a search on the same.
Simply holding down the home button brings to life Now on Tap and it can then help you with whatever query you have. Before you even do that though, it will present you with its best guesses of what it thinks you’re looking. Saying “Ok Google” into your device’s speaker will still get Google Now to do what it does best: search and provide information on anything you need be it knowing the song currently playing on radio, knowing the artist of the song you’re streaming on TuneIn or to simply set up an alarm or a calendar appointment.
Isn’t it scary and creepy how technology is being positioned to help us get through almost everything?
Google Now’s On Tap feature is still in the works and will be part of the final Android M release.
Google Now’s update comes at a time when Apple is said to be making final touches on its own competitor to Now and Microsoft’s Cortana.