June 27, 2013
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Google-Now-Voice-Search

Looks like the folks at Mountain View have more in store for Google Now users. The latest version of the predictive search app introduced a few features, but Android Police reports the application’s code contains references to new functionality that could appear in a more substantial update soon. Specifically, users can look forward to the addition of new cards that rely on Gmail e-mails to pull up pertinent information when needed.

Actions related to car rental appear to be the most useful. After receiving confirmation from a car provider, the new “rental” card will display the booking number, pickup and return date, time, and location of the vehicle. When picking up the car, users can “Navigate,” “Get Directions,” and “Manage [the] Reservation.” Returning the car presents options for finding nearby gas stations and calling the rental center.

Functioning in a way similar to the airplane boarding pass feature, an updated “event” card will display a QR ticket code when the event start time nears. Additionally, the card will populate with information relevant to the event: showtime or game start time, time to leave, seating specifics, door open time, venue, and, if applicable, the status of a table reservation. Sports events will get a new game statistics display. Like the new car rental card, the event card includes “Navigate,” “Get Directions,” and “Manage Reservation” buttons.

Slightly enigmatic is the presence of code pointing to an “Wallet Loyalty” Google Now card. Android Police wasn’t able to discern its exact function, but it’s possible the code lies the groundwork for a future NFC-less payment system.

For those disappointed the newest Google Now didn’t add many new cards, this update should definitely suffice. I, for one, am excited to see Google tapping more and more into Gmail data to aggregate things. We’ll let you know when the next version of Google Now goes live.

Kyle Wiggers
Kyle Wiggers is an avid writer, web designer, podcaster, and video producer with an acute interest in all things technology. When not reviewing or commentating on gadgets, apps, and videos, he enjoys reading New Yorker feature articles, tinkering with computers, and playing the occasional game of Rock Me Archimedes.
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