Google Now Expands Reach, Integrates 70 More Services

Siri did this years ago -- heralding a new future of inter-app/service connectivity. And then Apple bought it and cut it way back. It's obviously considerably more ingrained into the Apple experience now -- I use it every day on my phone, iPad and Watch, and it's irreplaceable for driving around LA -- but I do wonder when and if they'll open it up to 3rd party services. iOS 8 extensions are maybe a good sign. At least we know they're not fundamentally against interoperability anymore.

...the more you learn to trust Google to deliver the right mix—the things you need right now, the things you’ll need in an hour, and the score to the game you missed that last that you desperately want to know—the more powerful Now becomes. For Google, that process is all about collecting more data.

Of course -- there's the rub. 1+1 doesn't necessarily equal 3, but while the more you use it, the more powerful and helpful Now becomes, it's also vital to remember how Google makes (nearly all of) their money. Collecting your data, and selling it against ad space. Are you comfortable with it?

The difference for me is, and I've said this before -- I want to know that I'm the customer, and where a company is making their money. If Apple (or someone else with a similar track record) could collect the same data and provide the same awesome service, but keep the data contained to the service itself, I'd pay hand over fist. Bring on the smart, automated future. 

Lastly: there's Foursquare. They've been collecting data the whole time. Somebody's gonna buy them. Sounds like they think it's Microsoft.