Smartphones these days stretch beyond the realms of just phone calls/messaging and internet. There’s so much more these devices can do these days, which would have been rather impossible to think about back in the day. One such thing is voice integration, which has been available since the past few years actually. It’s only recently that it got substantially better and Apple was the one to start off with the introduction of Siri for the iPhone 4S back in 2011. However, Google wasn’t much behind as almost a year later in June 2012, the company introduced something known as Google Now. This basically combined the search capabilities of Google and bundled it in an intuitive and highly usable package. The best thing about Google Now is how it interacts with the device and provides quality information within a matter of seconds. Google showed off its prowess in a brief advertisement yesterday and reminded us why the Nexus 4 is what it is.
And now it is being reported that Google Now could see increased implementation in the form of a dedicated widget possibly with the next version of Android. This widget has been mentioned on Google’s support site, almost confirming its existence. This widget could be more refined and improved compared to how the service is accessed now and could go a long way in making lives that much better. Personally, to have a widget on my homescreen which gives me live updates on the weather or sports scores or stock market prices is something really awesome. But there’s a flipside to this which is the battery life. We fear the battery life will take a heavy beating with live widgets like these which keep updating in real time. Of course, Google will find a way to make it less troublesome for the users in the long run.
So the next big question is, when will we see it hit Android devices? Well we’re hoping it will be a stock Android feature breaking cover with Android 5.0 in May and should eventually make its way to other Android smartphones as well. We don’t see any big updates of Jelly Bean coming up now, so this feature is probably reserved for the next major release of Android. We cannot rule out the possibility of Google making this available as a downloadable widget from the Play Store either. Regardless, this feature is certainly on the cards and we should see it make its way to Android fairly soon. An alleged image of the widget looks very interesting and it shows exactly how it can be used. Unfortunately, Jelly Bean is still slowly rolling out on many smartphones, so not everybody has had a whiff of Google Now.
What do you think of this new widget? Let us know in the comments box below.