Third-party app support has finally arrived for Google Now, the search giant’s predictive personal assistant. As of now, the Google app on Android can pull in information from 40 different apps and present them as Now cards that can be viewed and swiped away at a glance.
Supported apps span a variety of categories. In the morning, for example, you can catch up on news of the day with cards from The Guardian. During your commute to work, Pandora can recommend songs based on what you like or perhaps you can catch up on a foreign language lesion with Duolingo.
Other apps that integrate with Google Now include Airbnb, eBay, Coinbase and Zillow, just to name a few. Note that you’ll only receive Now cards from apps you have installed. If you’re unsure of what to expect from some of these apps in terms of Card support, simply head over to this example page.
Apps are the lifeblood of all mobile platforms. Without a solid ecosystem, it’s next to impossible to gain meaningful traction. And as our dependence on mobile devices grows deeper, you may have noticed that we’re tending to rely more on apps and less on actual web searches.
Companies like Google are well aware of this shift which is why they’ve invested so heavily in mobile. Apps will continue to flourish but the next big thing in mobile could very well be app aggregation.
Products like Google Now and its predictive card system, however, must be implemented carefully – especially now that it has expanded to include third-party apps. There’s a fine line between presenting useful information at just the right time and becoming annoyingly overbearing.