Google has announced it will be bringing an open API for Google Now soon that will allow all apps to display information to the user via the service. The open API will be a huge expansion over the current pilot programme, which only works with 40 third-party services. The exact rollout date or time-frame was not given.
Speaking at an SXSW session (via The Next Web) over the weekend, Director of Product Management for Google Now, Aparna Chennapragada, said that an open API for Google Now is currently in the works.
Chennapragada also gave an insight to how once the API is launched Google Now will handle and display data coming from rival apps. She said Google Now will display data from apps based on the individual's app usage patterns over time. For instance, if a user is more active on Facebook than Twitter, Google Now cards will show Facebook's Google Now card instead of Twitter's.
It has been noted that the firm surveyed thousands of users at a time to identify the trends and patterns as to what relevant data to show on the Google Now cards from a single app in a particular situation. The Google Now director added that personal experience by members of the team also helped understand what information users might need at a certain situation. For example, her recent visit to Disneyland resulted in work on providing theme park ride queue times in a future release.
Chennapragada also said that Google Now would also be able to deliver notifications that are more personally tuned to the user, based on user-specific desires, such as how long before a flight a user would like to reach the airport. She added that Google Now will soon also feature 'Easter eggs', such as Google Search's 'flip a coin'.
Last month, Google Now on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices began to offer the ability to toggle on or off various features by simple voice commands, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and flashlight. Users with devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop are able to use this feature through Google Search voice commands or via 'Ok Google' hotword detection.