Google announced a big improvement to its Now service back at the end of January, with the personal software assistant picking up support for a bunch of cards from third-party apps. While in the past Google Now had been great about pulling data from things like your email and calendar, this new support meant access to previously untouched data troves. It all sounded very promising, with support for cards from even more apps to come. The only downside might be how Google was making this integration happen, and the need to work closely with the Now team to deliver this functionality might scare off smaller devs. But now we learn that even that should be changing soon, as Google prepares a standard open API for empowering apps to interact with Google Now.
That’s what Google’s been talking about at SXSW this week, along with sharing a bit about how Now cards got to be the way they are. What began as assumptions about user needs gave way to cards designed in response to survey-supported user data. With a forthcoming open Now API, the system would further take advantage of individual usage patterns in order to predict which info from which apps would be most helpful.
We don’t quite know when this API might be ready for public release, but Google sure sounds committed to making Now as rich as possible in the near future. Beyond opening support to third-party devs the company also talked about making Now better at recognizing more than just the types of data a user’s interested in, but also the degree of data – beyond just knowing to alert you of things like transit delays, it could develop the ability to judge just how large of a delay would be worth calling to your attention.