Google Now: Traveling brought that ‘aha’ moment

July 4, 2013
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Google Now is touted as being a service that is able to provide the right information at just the right time. The important aspect of all this is getting the information before you realize you need the information. While Google Now is not a new service, and while I have launched Now countless times on my smartphone -- I can honestly say that I just recently had my 'aha' moment and as a result I am checking it even more throughout the day.

Some of the highlights with Google Now include the basics such as the weather and the ability to search but there is also the ability to stay connected with news, general interests and sports scores as well as items to manage your day with travel directions, package shipment notifications, hotel details, flight information and more. There is also the the local items that pop-up from time to time when you visit someplace new. The local items offer tips on popular photo spots, nearby events, nearby places and more.

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Anyway, getting back to my aha moment. That came as a result of some recent traveling. Over the past few weeks I flew cross country to San Francisco and also drove up the east coast from Florida to Delaware. Needless to say, using Google Now in areas that isn't home means you will be getting lots of cards showing up during the day. Basically, these two trips had been enough to convince me that Google Now is really wonderful.

Starting with the trip to San Francisco and the information began almost immediately. In hind sight this is all obvious, however putting into practice and you find just how nice Now can be. The goodies began with flight details. Instead of printing things out or searching for confirmations in your inbox -- Now just gives you the flight details along with a code to scan at the airport. The nicer part is how early they show up, which comes in especially handy when dealing with multiple flights.

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Arriving at your destination is also just as easy thanks to Now. With hotel information already presented, getting to the hotel using the transportation of your choosing is quick and easy. Well, maybe not quick depending on where you are going, but easy in that you can get directions with just a few taps. It is also handy for those times when you get on the wrong train and need to reroute.

Looking at both of these trips and I found myself with some free time. More to the point, some free time without any locals to show me where good places may be located. Being the type that likes to check things out, Now proved to be rather helpful in showing me places to visit and places to find some popular photo spots. Though, I will say the popular photo spots are not always as exciting as one would think.

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Needless to say, getting to those spots was also made easy with quick access to directions. This was then further helped when I was easily able to find a good restaurant (based on user reviews). Bottom line here, Google Now has proven its worth for me and I am now looking to use it even more. While I could continue firing off examples of how Now was useful to me, I will say this instead -- next time you take a trip outside your home area -- make sure you are using Google Now. Or at the very least, keep your mind open to using Google Now like I did.


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  • imtoomuch

    Android was always awesome, but it gets better with every update. I have to say that Now is one my all time favorite additions.

    I really like the “Remind me” feature. It’s also pretty cool that it sees Open Table reservations in your email and reminds you when you need to leave and how to get there. I just wish it was more consistent. Sometimes it sees reservation emails, but not always.

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther

      Google now i by far my favorite feature in Android from the past year.. And not just the voice stuff. It’s amazing!

  • http://craiglloyd.net Craig Lloyd

    My “aha” moment was when I got in the car to go home, and Google Now automatically popped up turn-by-turn directions to my house. I finally get it..

    • James Briano

      You didn’t know how to get home?

      • http://craiglloyd.net Craig Lloyd

        I was out of town at the time.

      • James Briano

        Oh…. I thought you were just driving home from work! OK.

  • Christopher Gordon

    Sadly I have yet to have regular success with goggle now. It misses shipments, reservations, and it still has not figured out where my home is even after typing it in.

    • imtoomuch

      I’ve had the same experiences. It’s not consistent at this point. I have never been able to get it to track a package.

      The weather in the notification drawer is also extremely random and it rarely shows.

    • Geri Peak

      Yes, there is some spottiness, but I love Now. If you are using Google Apps account, some of the features are not yet implemented. I decided to keep it set on my personal account for the time being, but I am hoping for multiple account integration, as I have more than one Apps identity and would love to get cards from more than one account.

  • Druter

    Google now is mostly useless. Open a browser and search people. I am so damn tired of google now showing me stuff I dont care about like traffic (I dont have a car). Wake up people dont let a program tell you what to do.

    • Brenda Thompson

      what Paul responded I am in shock that a student able to profit $4383 in four weeks on the computer. did you read this web page w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

    • kaboose

      The vast majority of adults in the US have a car

      • Adriano Farina

        Seriously, though, it would be nice if it could show travel times for walking and cycling. It could be a setting or it could detect if I’m walking.

      • Tom

        I have it set to show me public transportation directions since I’m in Brooklyn and don’t need a car… Works wonderfully.

      • Adriano Farina

        That’s the problem with the way Google develops these things: it’s very US centric. Here in Italy it tends to suggest ridiculous 8 hours trips to cover 30km, when there is a perfectly good train doing that in 15 minutes. Nokia Maps has actually much better support around here, and it’s something reviewers never mention.

      • Adrian Zugaj

        There’s a public transportation option…. Don’t knock it due to your failure to use it correctly.

    • nickmorri

      You can disable everything that is irrelevant to your life. It could be a glorified weather application if you wanted. Don’t knock the service for your failure to customize it to your needs.

    • leo98918

      This is what the Settings option is for in Google Now, make it to where it shows you ONLY what YOU need. This is why most of us have Androids, to personalize it to YOUR liking. Wake up and tell your phone what to tell you.

      • RK

        Exactly. Duh.

  • http://www.smarthomenews.org/ Ari Brockman

    I still like google ..

  • JPB

    If you think that’s cool, do some traveling abroad. You’ll get all that plus a currency converter and translator cards if the place you’re going to has different currency and language.