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Google Now: Is It Magic, or Just Plain Creepy?

Google Now: Is It Magic, or Just Plain Creepy?
Photograph by Getty Images

One of the reasons I decided to make the switch from an iPhone to an Android phone—in addition to the freedom it allowed me from Apple’s walled garden—was that I was interested in trying Google’s version of “augmented reality” search, namely Google Now. Although I’ve used it periodically over the past few months, the utility of it really started to hit home while I was on a recent trip to Europe and relied on my smartphone as a lifeline.

While there is something undeniably creepy about the Google Now service, I have to admit it is also very useful—so much so that I couldn’t imagine going on a trip without it. I’m already imagining how it and other kinds of “anticipatory data” services (including Google News updates) might work through Google Glass.