Friday, February 8, 2013

Google Now lacking support for Google shipments

Google launched Google Now last year as an addition to the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system. It displays different snippets of information in the form of 'cards'. The relevance of this information is determined by the user's interactions with different services of Google. This is a great use of all the data mining Google has been doing to study behaviors of its users via different mediums. An example of Google Now cards would be that when you place an order online and you receive a confirmation email (in your Gmail account) with the UPS tracking number, Google Now will retrieve the shipping information from UPS and display a card with this information. It keeps updating the card and the user can access it on his phone (or tablet) without going to the UPS website.
Last week, I ordered a Google Nexus 4 phone as soon as it came back on the Play Store. It was shipped within a couple of days. I got the email with the UPS tracking number and I was following the progress of the package. I expected there to be a Google Now card with the UPS information, because the week before that, I had ordered a couple of things from Amazon and as soon as I got the email from Amazon with the shipping information, there was a Google Now card from where I could track the shipment.
While I was waiting for the Nexus 4 to be delivered, I realized there was no Google Now card regarding the package. It is strange that Google Now is able to determine a UPS tracking number from an Amazon email but not from a Google email!

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