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Google Now

Google announced today that its new Google Now personal assistant feature is available on the latest version of its mobile operating system, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The company showed off the new assistant at its Google I/O event in San Francisco. Essentially, this is Google’s answer to Apple’s virtual voice assistant, Siri for iOS, which remembers important dates on your calendar, reminds you of appointment times, and searches the web via voice controls. However, Google Now goes a bit further by taking the data from your daily routine, search history, and other behavior.

For instance, Google Now can learn your daily commute home. If your normal route is clogged with traffic, it sends you a notification suggesting alternate paths. It also updates you on restaurants and stores as you’re walking past them and provides reviews of those businesses and other recommendations.

Siri certainly offers all of these things, but you have to work to see all the same information that Google Now seems to provide in one easy stream. The same is true when you use Google Now to do a voice search. You get very specific search results, along with a stream of useful information related to it.

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