Posted August 23, 2013 3:26 pm by with 3 comments

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olivia has left the buildingWhen I was a new mom, my husband had a two hour commute from work everyday. Since we’re talking Los Angeles freeways, we’re talking unpredictable and there were days when he didn’t get home until after 8 pm due to an accident or road work. I’d go crazy on those days wondering where he was, wondering if something had happened. . . we really needed Google Now’s new commute card.

Choose who you want to share with and the card automatically updates as you make your way from here to there. It’s not only great for letting spouses know when you’ll be home for dinner but it’s nice for bosses and co-workers and anyone who is waiting to be picked up.

Android 4.1 users are getting a few more new cards today that will help with travel arrangements. The new Car Rental Card tucks your rental information in with your airline boarding pass and hotel reservations. The updated Public Transit Card lets you know when the last bus or train is coming so you won’t get stuck where you are.

Entertainment Cards

Android also added some new entertainment cards including one that tracks your favorite actors or musical artists. Click the “remind me” button when you search and a card will pop up when the actor is appearing on TV or a band releases a new album. It will also include a link to anything you can buy right away in the Google Play store.

The updated TV Card listens to your TV then returns additional information on the actors or show topic. They also added a Concert Card that keeps track of concert tickets, venue information, etc.

Sports Score Stir Up Trouble

Finally, they’ve added a card for NCAA football scores which turned out to be very controversial. Commenters on the announcement post are unhappy that all of the sports scores are for US sports. Where’s the Aussie football? What about soccer?

And that makes me wonder about the other cards – does the weather card convert to Celsius? Can you change dates so they’re written the European way? Are any of these cards actually global?

I know we have to start somewhere but this update and the response to it is a harsh reminder of how USA-centric we can be. Zuckerberg is promising internet for all, maybe Google Now needs to start thinking more globally, too.


  • Wondering

    Why not just call him?

  • It’s not totally US centric – you can in fact change a lot more preferences now in a much simpler way. For example, while it has always been possible, it is now significantly easier to change the weather to display in Celsius rather than Farenheit.