Google Now is awesome. Predicting what you’ll want by tracking your every move and search might seem creepy, but in practice it’s great. I wish it was on the iPhone too. Thankfully someone’s thought of that. Meet Grokr, Google Now, or maybe even better, for the iPhone.
The app is due to launch today, and basically takes everything that’s good about Google Now and expands on it. Instead of being limited to just Google’s services, it can pull from a whole host of information sources to give you that super-personalised, predictive experience; well, that’s what it’s promising at least.
It uses the Freebase, the database Google used for its own ‘Knowledge Graph’ and adds another 50 to 75 data sources giving Grokr something in the region of 700 million facts under 25 million entries. It sounds comprehensive, but Google Now’s best feature is its learning prediction skills.
Grokr will fire notifications at you for things you choose using iOS’s gimped notification system, but launching the app will apparently give you a fully customised burst of weather, news, traffic, movies, bars, parks, and more. It’ll learn from your commute too, which is something Google Now does really well, but that we wish would go even further. Grokr also has the potential to be smarter than Google Now in some places, what with its use of not only time-of-day and location, but apparently your ‘intent’ and a load of other signals to provide you with the information you need. It plugs into your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds to do that, which might worry some users.
Whether you think this is a massive security risk, it’s good that iOS is getting at least a little taste of what Google’s given Android. Who knows, Apple might buy them up, or just do the same thing with Siri. Hell, Google might even integrate Now into its search app for the iPhone at some point. We don’t know, yet, whether all this intelligent information gathering Grokr apparently manages will actually extend to the UK — one hopes, but we’ll have to wait till the app goes live to really find out. [Grokr via TechCrunch]