Google's personal assistant gets smarter with 'Now on Tap'

Updates take advantage of deeper context understanding to help users

Aparna Chennapragada at Google I/O 2015

Aparna Chennapragada at Google I/O 2015

Google Now is getting new capabilities with a new "Now on Tap" update that should make it easier to find contextually-relevant information.

The update uses machine learning to people find information more quickly based on the context of what they're doing on their Android phone. Case in point: if a person gets an invite to a restaurant in the Viber chat app, they can press and hold the phone's home button to get a link to OpenTable to place a reservation or view the restaurant's menu.

Similarly, users will be able to get information more easily about the music they're listening to, without having to spell out an entire query. Google Now Product Director Aparna Chennapragada showed how you could be listening to Skrillex and ask "What's his real name?" and the assistant will pull up the artist's biography. (Incidentally, his name is Sonny John Moore.)

The enhancements come at a time when the digital assistant market is becoming more competitive. Microsoft is bringing its Bing-powered assistant Cortana to PCs and tablets with the launch of Windows 10 later this year, and Apple is rumored to be working on Google Now-like features for Siri.

It's not clear when the new capabilities will arrive, but they'll be coming to Android M, the next version of Google's mobile operating system due in the third quarter.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags consumer electronicsGoogleAndroidsmartphonesAparna Chennapragada

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?