Yesterday at Google I/O they previewed the next generation of Google Now, their mobile digital assistant. It's like Siri for those of you familiar with iPhones. The major enhancement was "Google Now on tap" (which I'll refer to with the unfortunate acronym, GNOT) which will provide information based on the exact context of what you're doing. So instead of just providing information like weather, stocks, news and flight details, GNOT will deliver content based on what is currently on screen.
Currently the examples Google is showing are all based on things you do in your personal life, such as "if a friend emails you about seeing the new movie Tomorrowland, you can invoke Google Now without leaving your app, to quickly see the ratings, watch a trailer, or even buy tickets"
While providing context specific information around our personal lives is interesting, what I'm the most interested in is the potential way GNOT could be used at work. Imagine if integrated into the Google Apps for Work suite, how GNOT could provide context sensitive information about the people or the content related to what you're doing.
- From an email, provide information about the people on the email chain, the companies they work for, the history of your relationship, their current social media posts
- From a calendar entry, display travel information (flights, hotel, cars), businesses in the area, people (colleagues or competitors!) that are near by
- From a document, show recent news or other data sources related to the topic
Google's blog post about GNOT says: "Since we launched Google Now, we’ve been expanding the ways it can help and do more of the work for you." I look forward to seeing how GNOT fits into The Future of Work, not just for Google's products, but how developers can use it to enhance their own applications.
Google Now on Tap is scheduled to ship with Android M in Q3. (currently in developer preview for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player)