Google has announced a large update for Google Now on Android, bringing support for a massive selection of 40 third-party app cards in Google Now.
This is the first time that Google Now is able to display cards from apps that are not part of Google's collection.
"Starting today, the Google app on Android can help you keep up with all the good stuff in 40 different apps at a glance -- it'll bring you Now cards to help you out with your day-to-day life, giving you information that's helpful to you, right when you need it," said Google in a blog post.
Apps that will be supported in Google Now include Airbnb, Pandora, Lyft, TripAdvisor, eBay, Walgreens, Waze and so on. The company offers a full list of cards.
Google has teamed up with 30 developers to bring the new cards to users, and is planning on bringing more cards to users in the future as Google Now expands.
The change will likely make Google Now much more useful to users; information is now not limited to Google's services. Users will, however, only get cards from apps that they have installed. In fact, Google Now cards work much the same way as widgets on Android, which appear in a widget list once the app for that widget is installed.
"In the morning, catch up on news of the day with cards from The Guardian. On your commute, Pandora can give you recommendations for music to play, based on what you like, or you can be reminded to complete your daily French lesson on Duolingo," stated the company, giving an example of how the new cards can be used. "During your downtime, you can take care of the groceries, with a card from Instacart reminding you to stock up on the things you often order."
Google Now has become increasingly useful over the past few years, since it was first released in 2012. The service is becoming more integrated into Android and has become an important way to control a smartphone, especially as voice controls become more developed.
The new features are only available on the Android version of Google Now.
Apple's Siri, a competitor to Google Now, has also become increasingly smarter; however, it has not gone as far as to include support for third-party apps. It has been rumored multiple times that Apple has been considering expanding the Siri API.