Posted 20 November 2012 - 16:39
It is VERY useful, but it obviously depends on many factors. At this point there are so many cards, that most people just don't know about them. Public transit times only work in some cities, not all. So the card showing you the departure schedules of transit stops nearby will not work if you're not in one of these cities.
Same goes for the movies ones. Basically if you're in the US, you're good. Google.com does indeed give me showtimes at my local theater in spain, but they will never show on google now (apparently google now will show you the showtimes if you're nearby, on your movie days, etc).
The flight tracking tool is VERY useful, especially now that it gets data from gmail (Im not sure if it fetches data from calendar too, but that would be great).
Sure, most people are gonna be quick to jump with the skynet comments. But the way I see it, google now or not, they already had that information if you're a google user (gmail, google search, and calendar). So you may as well enjoy them actually using for something that is useful to you.
The one I like the most is the traffic updates to/from home/work (this will require traffic to be enabled on google maps in your area). That way I can tell whether there is any traffic jam and just hold off until it clears out.
Edit: the siri-like search features are pretty much the online google.com interface paired with voice recognition for your query and speech synthesis for the reply. It's the cards that pop up out of nowhere when you need them, right when you need the information, or before you need the information, that are the most useful. (sports results, appointments, flight status, public transit, public alerts, movies).
There are some very obvious examples of cards that pop up after a google search (on a PC or phone where you are logged in with search history enabled):
- news stories based on a previous query. you will get a card with a "a story related to a previous search was just published"
- flight statuses (they show up on google now either because you googled the flight number or because this was read on gmail)
- travel times to a location that you previously searched for on google maps. very useful when you google directions on a computer, then google now picks it up and you dont even have to retype
- concert alerts for your most searched artists (probably works only in the US, never seen this one).
theres an undocumented one, the pedometer, that tracks the distances you've walked and cycled during a month (tho this is probably very experimental, it's based on your location history)
basically google now learns from what you do when you interact with google services (search), from your emails (flight times and package tracking), your calendar appointments, and your location history (based on certain patterns it will realize where home is, where work).
i like the idea of giving your results before you even look for them.