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Google Now's new Reminders are easy and powerful, but not quite perfect

Brad Chacos | May 17, 2013
Larry Page and his merry Google crew bill Google Now, the scarily omniscient digital assistant baked into the Search apps for iOS and Android Jelly Bean, as a predictive search engine. Google Now notifies you of information you need, when you need it, without you ever needing to actively search for it. It's essentially your laissez-faire brain in the cloud.

What about the other updates?
The most recent Google Now update rolled in several new Cards as well as Reminders. Cards, in Google parlance, are notification types. The Traffic Card sends you real-time traffic data, the Nearby Attractions Card shows cool stuff near you, and the Next Appointment Card keeps you informed of (you guessed it) your next appointment, complete with an estimated travel time from your current location building on the real-time traffic details in the Traffic cards.

Google introduced four new cards on Wednesday. A Public Transit card should prove especially helpful for city dwellers, while new Books, TV Shows, Video Games, and Music Cards were added to push personalized content recommendations your way.

I wanted to go hands-on with the new Cards as well as the new Reminders, but there was just one issue: I couldn't get any of them to pop up, even after hours of searching for shows and starring media like crazy on Google Play.

I'm not heavily invested in Play Store content aside from apps, which may be the crux of the problem. The only major worry I have about the new Cards is that they'll spam your Google Now feed too often. Here's hoping my inability to get them to trigger at all is a sign of judiciousness, rather than wonkiness, on Google's end.

 

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