Today at the keynote presentation, Google executives dropped a bombshell: Google Now would be coming to all desktops as an add-on to Google Chrome. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Google Search is Google’s Main Service
Google Search is the company’s cash cow. It was the first service that co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page created, became famous for, and it’s what essentially led the company to become a billion dollar company. So, by drastically changing Google Search, the company is risking a lot. That being said, Google Now is one of the most well-received products and Android users swear by it. iOS users just recently got Google Now and I’ve been addicted to it since day 1.
2. It’ll Be Hands-free (!!)
This is the best part of Google Now for Chrome: it’s completely voice-controlled, so you won’t need to click any buttons or anything. In the demo at Google I/O, Google search chief Amit Singhal said that you can simply say “Ok Google,” ask for something, and the program will automatically initiate the search. The demo was simply amazing, and you can sign up for early access here.
3. Google’s Knowledge Graph Got An Update Too
Google’s Knowledge Graph (if you don’t know what Knowledge Graph is, search “How Tall Is Michael Jordan” on Google) got a major upgrade too. Here’s what CNET wrote about the announcement:
Singhal also announced that Google’s Knowledge Graph will have more statistical data available to assemble answers, and add language support for Polish, Turkish and simplified and traditional Chinese. Knowledge Graph gives Google Now and Google’s overall search the ability to deliver more precise answers to queries based on its database of more than 570 million entities and billions of relationships among them.
4. Google Now>Siri
Google may have been late to the personal assistant party — Google Now came after Siri — but they’ve definitely become the best personal assistant service available. Personally, as an iPhone user, I can honestly say since Google Now came to iOS, I haven’t used Siri once. Every morning, I use Google Now to check the weather in the morning and to see how long the commute will take to Midtown. I’ve never used such an accurate and useful service, and I know I’ll use it when it hits my desktop soon.
5. Google Beat Apple to Desktop Computers
It’s interesting that Google managed to bring a voice-controlled personal assistant to the desktop before Apple. Siri came out alongside the iPhone 4S back in September 2011, but is STILL in beta and has been heavily criticized for being inaccurate and ineffective. However, most rumors indicate that the next iteration of OS X, OS X 10.9, will have Siri on Mac computers. But with Google Now on desktops already, will anyone even use Siri? That remains to be seen.