SAN FRANCISCO — Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean, gets a more responsive user interface, a much more interactactive notification system, better voice transcription, overhauled search, and a major new feature called Google Now that tries to anticipate what a person needs to know at any given moment.
Android has exploded in use but led to criticism that it’s an Apple iOS copycat. Google clearly is trying to vault over that issue. with new features detailed at its at its Google I/O show today here.
Google Now, triggered by swiping from the bottom of the screen, draws on calendar, location, and search history to automatically present what a device thinks is information a person needs to know, said said Hugo Barra, director of product management, at the show’s opening keynote.
“Google Now gets you just the right information at just the right time, and all of it happens at the right time,” Barra said. For example, “Google Now figures out when you commute from home to work and back, tells you how long your commute takes usually, and give you a faster route if there’s lot of traffic. On public transit, if you’re on the platform at a subway, Google tells you wen the next bus or train will arrive.”
It’ll also show nearby restaurants when you’re walking down the street, and what a restaurant is famous for, he said. It’ll tell you sports results based on teams you’ve shown interest in before. And it’s tied into the calendar.
“If you have a calendar appointment, Google will help you get there on time. Google will tell you how long it’ll take you to walk to the bus top, when the next bus will arrive, and how long that bus ride will take,” he said.
More to come…
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