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Last week, Popular Science dubbed Google Now the “Innovation of the Year” (http://goo.gl/OPRnE). We sat down with Baris Gultekin, Andrew Kirmse and Ben Gomes, who all played a part in creating Google Now. 

How did the project start?
Andrew: Google Now started when a few of us on the Maps team thought there was some really useful information we could show you on your phone based on where you are, and so we started working on it in our spare time, as a 20% project (as many projects at Google start). The further we got on the project, the more compelling it became, and everyone saw the potential of it.


What is the benefit of Google Now being predictive?
Baris: Accessing and discovering information easily. There is a lot going on in our lives at any given time. When you’ve got a context-aware phone and thousands of computers working for you, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting information you may need, like the traffic between here and your next meeting, or the fact that there’s an awesome photo spot three blocks away. So with Google Now, you don’t even have to search for these, they just show up -- ready and waiting for you.


How do you see Google Now as a complement to Search?
Ben: The goal of search has always been to give you exactly the answers you need whenever you need them.  Google Now is another leap towards a truly intelligent search: you can find important information before you even ask. And at the end of the day, it’s about making you feel more powerful with your Android device.

Tell us your favorite experience with a Google Now card? 
Andrew: While I was wandering around Sydney during a visit to the Google office there earlier this year, a Google Now card popped up telling me that the Art Gallery of New South Wales (http://goo.gl/iyVTF) was a few blocks away. I spent the afternoon looking at some amazing aboriginal art that I never would have found otherwise.

How does Google's Knowledge Graph help power some of the cards in Google Now?
Ben: When you search, you’re not just looking for a webpage -- you’re looking to get answers and explore rich information. That’s where the Knowledge Graph comes in: with an understanding of real-world people, places and things, it can help provide better answers at your fingertips. Google Now builds on that philosophy of providing quick, actionable information, using information from the knowledge graph in areas like the weather, sports scores, and much more.

What can we expect from Google Now in the future?
Baris: There are many situations when our users have unique information needs. We’ve been focusing on organizing information that is important and relevant in a given situation and serving those back to you at precisely the right moment they’re useful. We’ve started with some useful cases such as telling you about your flight’s status on the day of your trip, but we are excited about covering much, much more.

Past winners of Popular Science’s Innovation of the year have been the Large Hadron Collider, the Toyota Prius and the Mars Curiosity rover -- what’s it like being in the same company of all of these? 
Baris: I am humbled to be in the same company of these amazing innovations. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to be part of creating this product and proud of what the team has accomplished. And, still only five months since we first launched, the most exciting thing is that we’re just getting started!

Visit http://google.com/now for more information about Google Now!
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170 comments
 
Congrats +Google! Google Now is an amazing and extremely useful tool.
 
Every time I show Google Now to my friends, they all begin their sentences with "Wow, that's amazing".

I removed my weather widget because Google Now just tells me before I ask and the first thing I do when I get in my car is to open up Google Now, because it usually knows where I would like to go already. Thanks Google for this amazingly cool yet exceedingly useful product!
 
Google Now is on my Galaxy SIII. I didn't even know I had it until I accidentally opened it up and saw that it was prepared to tell me how long my commute would take. It knows when I'm going to work and when I'm going home. Pretty amazing!
 
I love the package delivery notice and tracking links. I don't have to peruse my email for shipping notices. #googlenow  
 
Be nice, but is this on 4.2 or PC or is it an app? 
 
So its still nothing more than a prettier Google Search here in Europe. Wow, truly, i'm amazed. pha
 
I use Google Now a lot. Please enhance Google Now to able to learn my music. So I could know my favorite bands new album and their local concert
 
Google now is becoming even more useful. Just discovered yesterday it can give me tracking info on my package. Awesome! 
 
Google now is so far amazing, I'm waiting for what else is to come.
 
Hey +Android When will my Sprint Galaxy Nexus get the 4.2 update? Would be a great Thanksgiving present :)
 
Why isn't Google Now available as a download for Android 4.0?
 
No doubt, Google now is truly amazing!
 
can't seem to find this on my EVO 3D android 4.1 ..... Mexico!, would that be the issue?
 
Would be great if the "Innovation of the year" would not only work properly in the US ... 
Here in Europe we simply can't use most of Google Now's Features, not even the Voice Actions work in other languages than English. I can't image that it's so hard to make Voice Commands work in another language which is supported by voice typing.
Please +Google  +Android  , don't make us wait much longer.
 
That's wonderful news, Joe where's my back ordered N4
 
Pretty video, couldn't understand it as there were no captions. What's the deal, +Android ? 
 
How can a small business use Google Now to their benefit?
 
I dont think it is useful in my country.
 
I searched for a news topic on my laptop using Chrome and Google Now suggested another article for me to read a few minutes later.

I had an appointment in my Google calendar that had a location attached. As I was getting in my car, Google Now notified me that I needed to leave in a few minutes to get there on time.

I love it when GNow does those unexpected things that make you say "that was surprisingly useful!"
 
Not a lot of use on my Nexus 7 so far, but then it never leaves the house :-) 
 
:[
*Incredible 2 user still stuck on 2.3*

Come on, +HTC ... Don't be that guy...
 
I'm using it in London, and it's so amazing...saving my ass everyday ( I move to London few weeks ago...) 
 
Google Now was the feature that enticed me to upgrade to 4.1 asap.  I like the concept and see potentials when all the Google products are integrated.  However it still needs some more tweaking.  Like the option to disable specific cards from displaying again even though you still want to see other cards in that category.  Keep up the good work.
 
+Robert Roland For restaurants and such, make sure they come up in the Google Now places... I don't know how that's done but I don know that at times I tap "More Cards" and I see a bunch of nearby restaurant suggestions... 
 
Not so much for me, since my Nexus 7/16GB is WiFi only. Just the weather card with occasional use of the voice search...
 
+Jesus Montoya go to your home screen and tap the capacitive magnifying glass button... Google Now is mixed in with Google Search... It should prompt you to setup Google Now
 
It's time to overcome the google now's language impediment
 
Would love Google Now working on my phone - unfortunately it's still running #icecreamsandwich  Having it on the Nexus 7 is still cool, but mobile is where this is going to dominate!
 
Congratulations! It is pretty impressive.

It also lets me know about any new movies in theaters on opening day for movie trailers I have previously watched on YouTube. 
 
They should've called it by it's real name, Skynet. Can't wait for it to reach my One S. I welcome our new robot overlords.
 
I would love to try Google Now. As T-Mobile UK doesn't care enough about its customers to bother to update the GS3 to Jelly Bean I can't. But thanks for letting me know how great something I can't get is.
 
I just need it to let me tell it which route I take to work instead of it suggesting/assuming... But otherwise the timing is dead on.. Awesome! 
 
Please add this to ICS. Thanks
 
Come on Google, my dear friends, how about for ICM?  :)
 
If Google Now Does Not Blow Your Mind, You Have No Emotion 
 
It's not as useful on Wi-Fi only devices but still cool!
 
+Steve Longoria I find it plenty helpful on my wifi only nexus 7. It provides useful information  such as updates to news stories i've read, local area info, weather and stock information.
 
Here's a tip.  Go into Maps> Settings> Location Settings and make sure "Report my location from this Device" is checked.  This really helped results for location based cards.  I think "Enable location history" has an effect too.  Basically, to get the most you have to share everything with Google.  Use at your own discretion.
 
Great innovation indeed! Still awaiting knowledge graph in the Netherlands though.. 
 
No love for my GS2 yet. Still waiting for the official Jelly Bean update on AT&T.
 
I like the concept, but hate that you have to leave specific apps enabled in order for it to function, like the Yahoo products, and weather apps that I don't use. It would be better if there were more room for utilizing the apps we want to use to get the information from Google Now, instead of the stock apps that come on the phone.
The same thing happens with the Alarm feature of the phone. The stock (junk) apps are used for the briefing feature to work, otherwise you get an an error trying to set it up.
 
Can you get Google now on a droid RAZR m? I've heard u can but I can't seem to be able to
 
I love Google Now on my Samsung note 2 :) So great!
 
Cool stuff indeed! But... the whole experience is killed by the crapy 4.2 update :-\ seriously guys, you must be kidding, right? Had (two) brilliant nexus 7 until one week ago but now I honestly feel like an idiot watching them rebooting by themselves :'( failing with streaming more than 5 seconds of music over Bluetooth :'( lagging as crippled cheapest Chinese tablets crap :'(
Big noise over this stupid calendar bug... lol... give me a break!
Believe millions are expecting to hear more from you pronto! Please do something about it! 
 
Werk maar half. Bijvoorbeeld het dichtstbijzijnde busstation is mijn bestemming. Net zoals je de luchthaven in IOS wilt zoeken om een vlucht te boeken . Dat ligt in NY. Sorry daar moet ik heen. 
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May be great, but it is not as useful as it could be outside of any non english speeking country.
I'm missing the most useful elements in german 
 
I think Google Now and Siri should face off in a chess match...
 
Just talking about the same issue as SIRI. You cannot find your nearest busstation. Sorry about my slang. 
 
No usefull in my city and country. Google now only can tell about weather and or time to go home. And i can't add my home location. Always 7km off from original location
 
Google Now is very useful now and I'm excited to see where it will be in another year. Thanks for such a fun, handy program.
 
If you could make it more accurate with the names of places (cities and towns) in Europe, I actually use my phone in english, but every time and then I say the name of my city it never get it.
 
I love Google Now, blows Apple's Siri out of the water. Accurate and very useful.
 
Just need 4.1 on more devices; like the DROID RAZR
 
Just need Jelly Bean on my One S! Would be nice not to use a custom ROM all the time
 
KUYOYOOTOYO-R-T-J0U0R0HOKBKJKHKRIKTOGGOGGIIGHHII5HJJKKGKGKGFKKFKKFKFKFFDJJGFJJJSJFJYJABBIGAIL
 
How do I change where it thinks home is when it doesn't think I live where it says in my profile?
 
+Kevin Mackenzie : I know one way of doing it involves going to maps.google.com and selecting my places or something like that. Both your home and your work locations will be listed at the top. Below you'll find locations that you starred in the past. Make sure that you're signed in to your Google account when you do this.
 
Google is the best. Love the big G
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Superb innovation...
Just wat d doctor ordered :-D 
 
Its great but where are the german voice actions?^^
 
I hope it will work better here in Indonesia.
 
just can't wait for more features to appear, loving it so far :)
 
#Google  please do something about the language issue. I can understand some features not being available yet outside the US, but not having a sports card because the language is not set up in English, I don´t get it, really.
Tony U.
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Google Now has made Android the most advanced mobile OS on earth.
 
Google now works great if you are in the U.S. but here in Europe its still not reaching its full potential. I'd like to get my football teams results under sport, and would like to see more cards pop up other than only weather and travel. Great tool, but still lagging behind its full potential
 
"Just the beginning" is the most exciting part of the article. 
 
it's available on any android phone with Android 4.1 or up
 
Love Google Now, it's a fantastic app - I love it and love showing it off! Thanks for your hard work and well done on the award, you really deserve it!
 
For everyone who is eager to use Google now and take hold of the latest android jellybean software, take my advice and buy a nexus product today. Once you have it you'll never go back! Take my word :-) 
 
I don't see any (non-commercial) reason Google Now is restricted to only Jelly Bean. Don't be evil Googlers!
 
Too bad the Android 4.2 updated made Google Now slow and useless on my Nexus 7... :-(
 
+Darryl Ford When I turned that on my N7 got slow, real slow, not just Google Now but everything... So I removed it and now it's quick again... Might want to give it a shot...
Pan Hu
 
This is what we cal innovation! 
 
How do u know if your phone is rooted?
 
I have seen and lived the following functions in GNow.
- x Minutes to work
- x Minutes to home
- leave now to be at your next appointment on time
- the current weather is x

The weather is not really useful. If I want to know what the weather is like where I am, I just look outside. What I really want to know is how the weather is at the destination (Work/Home) I'm going to be, so I can prepare myself when I leave my home.

Background: I live in a mountainy area where one starts at home with blue skies and sunshine and a half an hour ride later, you're standing in full-on rain, thinking:"Aw man, should have brought an umbrella!".  
  
So, that is my input to make GNow better. 
Amari J
 
No google play on the amoazon ANDROID CRUZ fix it!!! 
 
"Innovation of the year." Yeah. About that. Maybe in the US. In Finland it's next to useless with all the functionality stripped down to just plain old search. No cards, no weather, no speech... Thanks for nothing yet again Google.
 
Well Deserved!! :D Works Perfect On My Note-II.
Amari J
 
GOOGLE PLAY NOT WORKING HELLO ANDROID
 
hi...............gd mrng
 
How do you add contacts in to the phone?
 
You might want to wait until they fix it ... My Galaxy Nexus is basically bricked due to the update :-P. Even more of a bummer is I got no help from tech support on my 3 month old device :-(. 
 
Like with all Google innovations I'm sure that this works perfect in silicon valley, but it'll probably be a few years before its potential is realised worldwide.
 
@ Sigmund Vestergaard - Yeah, but with the multitude of bugs you would figure they would have been shaken out during beta testing, But I get the feeling that Google is beta testing as they go. If they utilized more thorough testing procedures Jellybean's potential would be realized now.
 
Where is Ad-hoc support for Android?
 
I cant read the comments but whats Google Now all about. Pls tell it to me in simple terms.
 
i think trafic in indonesia are not include :(
 
@ Steve Johnson - Google now is a smart assistant that provides information automatically. For instance, say you do a search for a local pizza shop on your computer using Google Chrome. Because Chrome is sync'd with Google and your phone is sync'd with Google, Google Now will pop up a card with the address for the pizza place and directions from where you currently are ... It can pull up relevant information from your calendar as a reminder ... The list goes on and on, and this feature is still in it's first iteration (with only a couple minor feature updates in 4.2). Even though it's not audio active I find it a bit more useful than Apple's Siri.
 
Another example: My mum gmailed me a flight itinerary. Google Now then showed me planned departure and planned arrival times. After the flight it also showed me the actual departure and arrival times. Of other features are sport results, stocks and weather. I haven't tried it, but if you put all your planned activities into Google Calendar, Goggle Now can help you reach those in time.
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you lose a lot of clout when Google owns a cell phone company that drops dozens of phones on the floor after they take over. They canceled the ICS updates effectively locking users out of being able to use Google Now at all. Most of these users owned these phones for less then a year. This is what google has done since taking over motorola mobility.
 
+Nate den Hollander ... no ... better. Google Now doesn't need to be asked ... it generates the information automatically based on the information provided by you the user on the various Google platforms you use to gather and store information on the web. Google Chrome, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google + etc ... they are all tied together, and they all provide info to Google Now which attempts to provide you with the most relavent information. It actually works well. 
 
Talvez voces não saibam que o android gingerbread é maioria no mundo todo e vai continuar sendo por uns  2 anos, então porque voces da google não fazem aplicativo para esse smartfone como google agora e chrome para esses aparelhos, voces estão dando um tiro no pé com essa politica de fazer para jelly bean, noaguardo. atenciosamente.
Aqem possa interesar
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i also like this applocation
Brian B
 
whenis google now avail for razor maxx..?
Brian B
 
razor maxx lte
 
Anyone know how to add an accidentally deleted team back to the sports notification cards?  I've gone through the settings, I've cleared cache and data, everything to no avail. The team will get added in settings, but by the time Google Now refreshes, the team is lost again and absent from my list in the settings.
 
its be great if make it for iOS
 
+Žan h what would be even better is if Google would either A) Upgrade all of the +Motorola Mobility phones they promised to for a year, or B) Release it for GB.
 
agregar me quiero ser tu amigo
add me to wanna be your friend
Adicione-me quero ser seu amigo
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