The more Google shows off its improvements to Search and Maps at I/O Wednesday, the more evident it is that the company's services are skewing toward the experience found in Google Now, the predictive service that sends personalized, individually tailored information you need to your phone as you need it. The future, you might say, is in the Cards.
But while other Google services are increasingly mirroring the Google Now experience, Google Now itself received a very modest refresh Wednesday. New cards for public transportation schedules are incoming, as are cards recommending books, TV shows, music, and video games that the Googletron thinks you'll like--yoinking personalized data from Google Play, no doubt--the most notable addition is the upcoming ability to add reminders to Google Now.
Google Now's reminder service will take advantage of Google's beefed-up voice search capabilities to let you seamlessly create reminders that Google Now will serve to you when and where you need them. The "where" strongly suggests that the reminders will tap into the new Geofencing API that also debuted on Wednesday.
What, you want an example? Here you go: You could tell Google to remind you to call Sergey Brin next Friday at 4 p.m., and the following Friday, Google Now will pop up a notification on your phone prompting you to give Brin a dial.
Pretty nifty stuff--potentially pretty powerful stuff, in fact--and all stuff that's available for Android Jelly Bean users right now. More importantly for Google, the Google Now update taps into a whole slew of Google services, from Maps to the Play Store to Google+ contacts. It's hellaciously clever and a wonderful way to show what's possible when you buy into the Google experience whole-hog, privacy concerns be damned.