We’ve known about Google (GOOG) Now for months now, but Technology Review has an in-depth report on the new Android feature that details how it plans to one-up Apple’s (AAPL) popular Siri voice assistant by delivering information before you even ask for it. Anyone who thinks this sounds rather invasive is absolutely right, as Technology Review says that the software uses “the constant stream of data a smartphone collects on its owner with clues about the person’s life that Google can sift from Web searches and e-mails to guess what he or she would ask it for next.”
So, how does Google Now’s creepily intimate knowledge of its users play out in the real world? Technology Review’s Tom Simonite says Google Now is always ready to offer him suggestions throughout the day whether he asks for them or not.
“As I stroll around San Francisco, live bus times are offered to me whenever I pull my phone from my pocket at a bus stop,” he writes. “And when I get up in the morning, Google Now presents a panel summarizing my optimum transit journey to work along with specific buses and an estimate of the time the trip will take.”
On the less-invasive side of things, Simonite says that he only had to ask Google Now to retrieve his favorite sports team’s scores once to get the software to deliver updated results on a regular basis. In all, Simonite found his experience with Google Now impressive and says that the application will only get “better as the company collects more data and refines its algorithms.”