Google Inc. is expanding the capabilities of its Google Now mobile predictive search feature by opening it up to third-party developers for the first time, the company announced Friday. With the help of applications such as Lyft, Pandora and Shazam, Google Now will be able to deliver more information to users than before.
Since 2012, Google Now has been available to mobile users, delivering information to them that they might need even before they go and search for it, such as traffic and weather conditions or the status of a user’s flight. In the past, Google Now pulled the relevant data from the company’s various services, such as Gmail and Google Maps, but, in the future, it will pull the information from 40 different apps, encompassing many made by third-party developers.
The list of apps feeding data to Google Now includes Airbnb, Duolingo, eBay and many others. By working with third-party developers, Google Now will be able to provide more information and be more useful to the search giant’s mobile users.
Expanding the capabilities of Google Now is a must for the Mountain View, California-based tech giant, which has been struggling to grow its mobile advertising business. On smartphones, Google cannot place as many ads as it does on computer screens, and mobile users also have a tendency to spend their time on apps other than Google’s. By making Google Now more helpful, users may stick around longer on the Google app, and, going forward, Google could use Google Now to deliver advertisements to them.
Google Now users will begin to see information via third-party apps in the coming weeks, Google said.