Google Now: Predictive Search Dawns

Google Now: Predictive Search Dawns
Image via CrunchBase

Mountain View, CaliforniaGoogle Now, a series of UI cards, is taking the task of user search to the next level. Akin to the Siri technology, Google Now debuted in late 2012, but now is expanding its scope into predictive search.

While it won’t necessarily mean that the technology will forecast all user search queries before they are typed or spoken, it will make the process of search a bit more effortless. And in a world where wireless connections, the cloud, and remote devices are becoming ubiquitous in everyday life, Google Now could become indispensable for several years.

The Ins and Outs of Google Now

Essentially, when a user downloads the Google Now app, he or she is allowing the software to run in the background, collecting data about each interaction with the search engine’s products on that device. So, the more someone uses Gmail, Google+, and Play, the more the app learns about that user’s behaviors.

Over time, it begins to see patterns and builds a concierge service, specific to the user and display results based on those patterns. The cards interact with user behaviors, prioritizing and organizing them so to show the user relevant information without that user having to manually conduct a search.

For instance, a user who regularly looks at their local forecast will automatically be shown the day’s weather report. A user who routinely searches traffic in their area will see traffic reports instantly. In short, Google Now performs those routine searches automatically and displays the results.

The Drawbacks of Google Now

While the technology is impressive, it is, of course, not without some drawbacks. First and foremost, for optimum performance, users ought to be on an Android device. In addition, it only interacts with other proprietary properties belonging to the search engine. And the voice activated feature still has usability limitations.

Advertisements will also come to be an integrated part of using Google Now, but that’s inevitable. However, it’s a small price to pay for such automation. “Technology should do the hard work so that people can get on with doing the things that make them happiest in life,” Google’s CEO, Larry Page, said at its developer conference in May, according to Search Engine Watch.

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