The next big thing in technology is all-knowing apps that do what you want before you ask, also known as "predictive search," and the theoretical version of it is both creepy and cool, but so far it's neither. The possible future applications of the technology make it sound like it has the potential to fulfill some sort of sci-fi fantasy. "Glance at your phone in the morning, for instance, and see an alert that you need to leave early for your next meeting because of traffic, even though you never told your phone you had a meeting, or where it was," The New York Times's Claire Cain Miller gives as one example. She likens it to having a personal assistant — just like the the "royals have their valets." But so far, it's not quite there.
Google Now, the Siri competitor already incorporates the first iteration of this technology in Google Glass, which uses its predictive powers to send a flight delay alert as a Glasshole runs through the airport, for example. Some of the stuff it does verges on the cool. Like you can set reminders that trigger based on location, for example:
A couple days before you travel, it will show you weather in your destination, and when you arrive, currency exchange information and the time back home. Ask aloud that Google Now remind you to pick up milk next time you step in a grocery store, and an alert will appear when you are at Safeway.
Indeed, its location tracking abilities are the best part of the whole thing, say reviewers. But, that's just the beginning of the promise. "Google Now is supposed to be able to provide answers to your questions before you even ask them," wrote Salon's Andrew Leonard when Now came out for iOS back in May. That would be incredibly cool. Like, if it read some sort of shopping list and in the grocery store told you to head down aisle five for the milk. But it doesn't do that, yet.