Google Now: Creepy or Amazing?

Sections: Mobile Computers, Smartphones, Software / Applications, Wireless

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I’ve been using my Nexus 7 for a couple of weeks now, and I hadn’t paid that much attention to Google Now. It was nice for the weather report. Driving directions and the ‘time to next meeting’ feature were kind of cute.

Then I woke up to leave for my conference in Tampa last week, and Google Now surprised me with my boarding pass all loaded up and ready to go.

Okay, I know that people say Google is trying to take over our lives, and I’ve laughed along. But this was pretty…well…amazing. Google Now not only recognized that I had a flight information email, it also went through the link to the mobile boarding pass and displayed it.

When I told this story to my travel companions, both of them agreed it was “scary.” I’m not going to go that far, but it did set me back for a moment.

For the rest of the trip, it was a nice companion. It started giving me weather information in Tampa a couple of days before I left, which was helpful for packing. Along with my boarding pass, it gave me directions and driving time to Dulles. When we arrived in Tampa, I logged on to the airport wireless, and it gave us directions and time to the hotel.

It also displayed places to see and eat in addition to photo opportunities nearby. I can see that Google Now could be a helpful travel companion, although obviously it’s more useful on a phone or 4G-equipped tablet.

Curiously, it didn’t give me my boarding pass for the trip back, even though I had another confirmation email in my Inbox. Guess it’s not infallible.

What do you think of Google Now? Amazing technology or too much “Big Brother is watching?”

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