As reported on by The Next Web, Google at South by Southwest this weekend gave an interesting look at its plans for Google Now. Aparna Chennapragada, Google Now’s Director of Product Management, discussed Google’s personalized predictive data service and revealed some details regarding the future of the product. Chennapragada revealed that the company soon plans to launch an open API for Google Now that will allow third-party services to integrate it into their apps.
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For Google, opening up the Now API to everyone creates an interesting predicament regarding whether it should force users to use the Google version of services, or allow them to opt for third-party variants instead. In response to a question regarding this at SXSW, Chennapragada said that Google Now will track individual usage patterns, which in turn will help guide which data to show to users. Google doesn’t seem to care whether users use its built-in services or third-party data, as long as it is all interfaced in Google Now itself.
In response to wonders about how Google chooses which features to integrate into Now, Chennapragada explained that she very much takes from personal experiences in development. For instance, she revealed that a recent trip to Disneyland inspired her to start work on future support for theme park queue times.
Google, back in January, announced a partnership with 40+ developers to integrate their applications into Now. This expansion included cards from apps like The Guardian, Pandora, and Airbnb. By further expanding application support for Google Now with an open API, we could see the service open up itself to more niche markets and applications. Google’s end goal with Now is to have users spend the majority of their time getting a rundown of important information in Now, instead of jumping between individual apps. An open API will certainly aid that goal, although there is no timetable for a launch at this point.