Google Now, the digital voice assistant used in Android OS, has been named 'Innovation of the Year' by Popular Sciencemagazine. The Siri rival from Google is now in the prestigious company of the likes of Mars Curiosity Rover and Large Hadron Collider.
Available in smartphones and tablets running on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and above, Google Nowis a 20% project, the company's way of encouraging employees to spend office time on their own ideas.
The strength of Google's voice assistant is that it is predictive and tracks the users' habits. Therefore, it is able to provide users with information like landmarks, food joints and tourist spots around the area they are at, using geo-location, via notifications in the drop down Notification Bar or via dialogue boxes.
As an app used in conjunction with Google Search on smartphones, the voice assistant will be able to provide information about traffic on routes that users frequently travel, sports scores etc. It is also said to learn more about the user the longer it is used.
Jacob Ward of Popular Science in his post said, "With Google Now, you don't pull the phone out when an idea occurs to you. You pull it out when an idea occurs to it."
Various reviewers have commended Google Now's capabilities in providing relevant information as well as response time. Reviews for Google Now have also been much more favourable than those for Siri, the highlighting feature of Apple iPhone 4S.