For five years, iPhone and Android have always been at odds, with Android grabbing the headlines and iOS falling slightly short. Closed vs. open; Design vs. customization, those lines have become blurred ever since. The two operating systems were continuing to converge, until Thursday. The goose-chase became even harder on Apple when Android became more compelling, and Google I/O 2015 just got ahead of itself with Google Now on Tap. A digital soul mate to its users and a threat to Apple’s OS, this new technology may just be ‘The One’ we’re all waiting for.
Google’s knowledge graph, combined with Google Now is optimizing the way we think about searching ‘queries’ online. Instead of the platform reacting to questions, Google Now predicts what we want to know and when, delivering it right to our fingertips. It is already a feature for Android users, but the newly announced Google Now on Tap integration may completely change the way you use your phone. Now on Tap absorbs all the data on your current screen and interprets it, then it predicts what it is you want to know based on the context of that information, and presents you with exactly what you’re looking for.
The Now service entails a dashboard of notifications focused on your life and interests. This is performed by a layer that essentially hovers above any app running on your phone or tablet and is activated by the home button. In short, it’s always there. This means that you can get contextual search information around almost anything you’re doing, provided there is text and data that Google can pull from the app itself. And the best part is that developers won’t have to make any changes to their existing software to allow the new service to bring search and context into the user’s view. For instance, you and your friend are talking about the new restaurant in town on a Whatsapp conversation. Google can pull up data on the place and even help you make reservations.
Think about it: how often are your intents on using your phone triggered by a conversation, or something you scrolled across on Instagram? Now, you have a plethora of possibilities just on a tap without the need to exit the app, conduct a search, or perform some other task to finish your thought. If the service proves to be as impressive as what Google showed off on stage in San Francisco, there’s a whole new world of digital possibilities ahead of us. One that’s more integrated and self-sustained than ever…
More on that later… Stay tuned for the next installment of this blog-post.