This morning (April 29th), Google rolled out ‘Google Now’ for iOS! Google Now is a notification card system integrated into the Google Search app for iOS, available for the iPad and iPhone.
The Google Search app is a Google, Inc. app that allows you to easily search from mobile devices. As its integrated cohort, Google Now can notify you of pertinent information at just the right time. I consider it a precursor to the Google Glass technology, which is very soon coming. Google Now will notify you conveniently of things that matter in the moment: local weather, traffic and public transit commute times, flight status, sports, calendar notifications, translations, currency exchange rates, time zone differences, and more are sure to come. See the introduction video here.
To Switch or Not to Switch
For those reluctant to switch to an iDevice, this update has been long awaited because the iDevices lacked full integration with all Google’s latest technologies (maps, search, etc). For example, I stayed with Android for a long time because it usually had the latest and greatest software and hardware, but the push to both Android and iOS platforms is slowly becoming more equal. This shows us that Google is ‘less evil’ by being no respecter of platform.
This convenience of information is awesome because you no longer have to go to Google; Google comes to you!
Here is a critical takeaway for local businesses: Since Google is taking businesses’ information to people, you need to make sure your information online is accurate. It is especially critical that your Google Maps information is detailed and accurate.
There are also many online directories that keep your local business information. If there is misinformation on the web, effort should be taken to correct this information as quickly as possible. If you don’t know how to do this, we can help.
Along with getting accurate information in a timely manner, Google also likes statistical data.
Google is all about information. Just like with Google Analytics, I imagine that in the future they will be able to provide you demographic data for your online visitors and your in-store visits as well!
Think about it; if you use Google, they know an awful lot about you and your customers. With GPS in your phone, they know where you go and what you like. If you frequent a place, they are starting to give you commute time to your favorite places, directions for your recent local searches, and potential offers and promotions for businesses you already like.
The future of search goes beyond search. It is ‘discovered and delivered’ at your convenience. Are you ready for it?