By Nathan Olivarez-Giles CONNECT Airbnb, Pandora and more than two dozen other companies are now able to feed information into Google Now. Google Inc. Google Inc. doesn’t want to lose its perch atop the search market, and it’s looking to the likes of Airbnb, eBay , Lyft and a couple dozen other companies to help it do just that. On Friday, Google is set to announce that, for the first time, it’s allowing third-party apps to deliver information to Google Now, its predictive search app that’s built into Android phones, Android Wear smartwatches and the Chrome web browser. Google Now has been seen as the future of Google’s search technology since it launched in 2012—a tool built to deliver frequently searched for information before users ask for it: Traffic for the commute home, sports scores, details on flights and reservations, package shipments, calendar appointments, breaking or popular news stories, and the weather. Until today, all of this data came directly from a user’s Google account—what they searched for on Google.com and bits of relevant data scraped from their Gmail accounts. The predictive search results show up as Google Now “cards” — digital cards just big enough to contain the quickly consumable information a user is looking for (the five-day forecast, a breaking news headline, etc.) – that are presented as a feed of must-have information. Starting today, Google Now is formally opened up to a select group of more than 30 third-party apps each of which will feed data into Now cards. A user will only see these new Now cards if they have the related non-Google app installed on their phone. For example, if a person has both the Google Now update (it’s rolling out to Android users first, starting today) and the Airbnb app downloaded on their phone or tablet, Airbnb will feed into Google Now the listings a person has searched for and what dates they were looking at booking a property. The information will show up as a Now card asking the user if they want to book the place they were looking at, a few days before the potential rental dates. Google told the Journal that the changes will result in more than 40 new cards being available to users, and that no user data from Google Now itself (such as what stock or sports teams a user follows) will be shared with third-parties in the process. Some of the new third-party Now cards will be triggered by location, but Google won’t share a user’s location in such an event. However, once a user taps on any third-party Now card, they’re launched into that non-Google app, and that company’s data collection begins just as it does any time that specific app is used normally.
Home / Tech News / Google Now adds over 40 new cards, fed by data from 30+ third-party apps like Airbnb, eBay, and Lyft (Nathan Olivarez-Giles/Wall Street Journal)
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