Google Now Knows What You Did Last Summer!!!

Google Now is now a direct competitor to Apple’s Siri. Google Now is an intelligent virtual personal assistant similar to Siri. Recently Google Now became available on iOS for iPhones and iPads.

Google Now access a lot of personal information on someone’s iPhone/iPad. There are many privacy issues related to the use of Google Now. Google Now analyzes your browsing history, mail, calendar events, and other activity on your iOS device to “predict” information that you will need before you even think about needing it.

In order to begin using Google Now and iOS, you must first open Google Search, where Google Now appears at the bottom of the screen as a stack of cards. You swipe the stack of cards in order to access the main feature of Google Now, the “cards.”

Here is an example of how Google Now is your personal assistant: You have meeting scheduled for later today in Aurora. The meeting is scheduled in your Calendar app. Google Now accesses your calendar and from the information that it obtains, it creates a “card” that gives you map, directions, and current traffic conditions to the meeting. When you repeatedly search for a particular sports team’s score on the internet, Google Now automatically displays the previous night’s final score on a “card.” If Google Now detects that you are in a foreign country, it will provide a “card” with a translator and a currency convertor.
Google Now does allow you to select what information you share with Google Now. However, the less information you provide to Google Now, the less useful, reliable, and efficient it becomes.

Google Now can be a very convenient tool for everyone. However, Google Now on iOS does not allow you to send e-mails using only your voice and you cannot access with the push of the “Home” button like you can with Siri. Google Now also only works with other Google products, such as Google Calendar. It was also released with glitches and users have complained of battery problems when using Google Now.

While I can see how Google Now can be a great convenience for me, I cannot get past the fact of how much information it will obtain from my iPhone. That information could be stored on Google’s server for years and it could sell that information to advertising firms that would creep me out with very personalized ads. Perhaps if my information was kept on my phone and it never went through Google’s servers, I would be more open to using it.

Would you be willing to provide extensive amounts of information in order to use Google Now? Are you concerned with your privacy in this technological world? What can Google do to alleviate the privacy concerns of its customers? Should Google be competing directly with Apple’s Siri on Apple’s own products? Is this Google’s strategy to win over Apple consumers? Did Google release Google Now on iOS prematurely since it still has bugs and is only compatible with Google services?



Google Now Takes On Apple’s Siri by Rich Jaroslovsky:

(Image) Google Now Opens Up To iPhone And iPad Users by Taylor Hatmaker:

Google Now for iOS: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know by Karen Tumbokon:

10 thoughts on “Google Now Knows What You Did Last Summer!!!

  1. I personally am an iPhone user and I find Siri to be more a waste of time that occasionally makes noise when it isn’t supposed to (class is a popular one). The fact that it accesses information on my phone is a secondary reason as to why I don’t use it. Anytime consumers use the internet for email or a google search, information is taken, stored and sold. The same is true with countless applications for the device (Snapchat for example takes information from your contacts regarding phone numbers and Facebook information). Privacy issues are frustrating, but so many other applications that consumers use every day do the same thing without them really noticing. There is no doubt that the privacy issue is a worry point, but Google Now won’t be near the largest issue on that front.

    As far as competing with Apple on its own devices, really, why not? It isn’t as if Google would prevent Apple from doing the same thing if it so chose. The open source nature of smartphones (Apple less so) is what makes them so innovative and progressive. Hopefully more influence and competition from Google will force Apple to really innovate again.

  2. Based on your post, Google Now does sound very appealing and helpful to me. When I was reading your post about the “cards” that Google Now will create for you based on your search history and the information on your phone, it got me thinking of how I am constantly checking updates on the Chicago Bulls Team or how I will be going to Study Abroad in Paris & Switzerland in a month. Things like a translator and currency exchange can really help me while abroad. While all these are great aspects, I agree with you on your concern with the amount of privacy that we are actually getting. I am very suspicious when it comes to using technology and the amount of personal information that I give out on the internet. At the back of my head I am always thinking that someone has hacked my laptop and is watching me through my webcam, or listening to me through the microphone, or has total control of my computer and is accessing my files and photos. Therefore, while Google Now does seem very appealing I think I will stick with downloading the individual apps on my phone instead.

  3. This is something that I would definitely use and for right now, be ok with sharing my information in the Google servers. As long as the information isn’t being used against me and it’s purpose is to make my life easier, than I’m all for it. We need to embrace the technological ability to look at our information, analyze it, and then help us. If this information is ever shared or used to hurt us, then there’s a problem, but in the meantime I have no problem accepting the help.

  4. Whenever I we want to learn something, define something, want something, we “GOOGLE” something. Google has been one of those web engines that we use every day for different things in our lives. Earlier last year, I read an article which was very interesting. It was how Google’s algorithm changes searches to how our information is stored. To explain in it other terms, my buddy and I both Googled the same thing and with the exception of the first two searches, the rest were different. Google uses our information from Gmail, and our current searches, religion, region, age, sex, to make a decision based on what we would expect the answer to be. I believe that this needs to stop because our private information is a public knowledge and is stored in Google’s hardware. Where we go, can be located from googles maps and what we send in googles gmail. Google needs to come out with a formal statement saying how they cannot use this information without our consent. Companies these days have a lot of power, and we need to have a say as consumers what they can do with our private information.

    1. I find it very interesting that it took this long for a company to compete with Siri! About a year ago if you didn’t have Siri on your iPhone then you were considered to seriously be missing out. I like in the comment above by spr1311ofateh said about him and a friend using Google to search the same thing. I had no idea Google was that invasive when it comes to personal information. I am not bothered by the fact that Google Now requires that amount of information.

  5. To answer your question directly I would feel really uncomfortable with Google keeping personal information stored without my discretion. If I was able to delete the personal information from their database at anytime I would not mind the personal ads so much as they would be the only ones effective on me at all. I also agree with the last comment that it has taken this long for competition to Siri.

  6. I feel this information. Is good but it just a way for the government to get into people business. Siri is good but I try my best not to use her! I love Google and because thousands of people use that search engine a day, google may surpass apple but for me I just don’t like for someone to search my name and find my address phone numbers and other things. Nothing is private anymore

  7. Personally, I really dislike the idea of Google keeping my personal information and possibly sharing it later with third parties. I feel like nowadays everything is being tracked and every move is being watched. I can tie this with social media, too. I feel like no one has any privacy anymore. I love both, Google and Apple, but give us some air to breath!

  8. “All is fair in love and war” is a popular quote that I believe describes the current relationship between Google and Apple. Why shouldn’t Google come out with cutting edge technology that could potentially outdo a popular application on our smartphones today? Let’s not forget that Apple is a pretty cut throat company that has worked hard to make a name for itself over the last several decades. Without continuous innovation, our society would come to a tragic standstill. Saying that, we should be welcoming competition–but to what degree? Are we willing to give up our privacy for convenience? What will we lose in the process? Should we let a computer company control our common searches and influence our decision making? I feel like significant boundaries are being crossed and its only a matter of time before Google invades every aspect of our lives with force. That doesn’t make me very comfortable, but do I have a choice in that matter? Technology and its consequences will advance with or without me.

  9. So like everything involved with the internet, the technology is a tool. In this instance Google Now is saving you time. If you don’t mind sharing some personal data, then you can access your most frequently searched items faster which over time will save you time. Also we live in an age where everything is on the internet so if you’ve ever inputed anything online, I’m sure google or anyone else could find that information. So might as well work with the technology if it’s going to make your life a little easier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *