We know mobile has become a crucial component of the computer industry when features that originated in mobile are migrating to the PC. In a Read Write Web article, Adriana Lee outlines some of the more advanced personal assistant features that Google will soon be bringing to your PC.
The company is rolling out a new update to its search engine that gives users "quick answers" to personal queries—for instance, when their next flight leaves, or when a package is due to arrive—made in the search bar. And if the info is in your Gmail, Google Calendar or Google+ accounts, the relevant answers pop up at the top of the search results.
Some of these features include flight tracking, reservations, recent purchases, plans and appointments, and photos. Lee notes that access to this information isn't new, but Google is attempting to make it more convenient. Anyone who uses Google Now on an Android phone or tablet will understand the utility of glanceable information. However, Google Now and these new PC search features are not identical.
Google Now anticipates the information users need, while the new feature relies on users proactively searching for specific info. Another distinction: The search-based service works in desktop browsers, as well as on tablets and smartphones. It works in any browser via text input, and via speech wherever Google search by voice is available—i.e., desktop Chrome, Google search mobile apps and the native Google search on Android.
User data is secure and encrypted, and it's finally ready for a public release. The feature is "opt-in" and it can be managed under the "Private Results" section in Chrome's settings.
Mike Elgan talks about the concept behind Google's new card interface.
Google is fully embracing the cards interface. A card is a unit of information that could contain anything but which is presented in a format for maximum surface scannability -- you should be able to know everything about that chunk of information just by looking at the card.