There's no doubt that mobile has become an integral part of our daily lives, and companies are battling to provide the most relevant information at the right time. For Google, that comes in the form of its personal assistant, Google Now.
After its launch, Google Now quickly received accolades, netting Popular Science's "Innovation of the Year" award in 2012.
On Friday, January 30, Google expanded support of its Google Now service to 40 new applications, as announced in a blog post. The new apps come from a team of more than 30 developers and run the gamut from grocery delivery to travel booking.
As a professional, you want to get the most out of the Google Now service, but you have to invest in the right integrations. Here are 10 Google Now cards to get you started.
Social media management tool, Hootsuite, is now available as a Google Now card. Hootsuite allows users to manage multiple accounts on each major social media site, as well as schedule posts and track replies, tags, and mentions. For social media managers, this is an easy way to track your brand's social media presence and stay up-to-date on regular postings.
TripAdvisor is a great card for regular business travelers. Users get access to reviews, opinions, and photos from other travelers, so they'll know what to expect in a given city.The app also lets you find a good hotel or restaurant nearby and explore the prices.
Business travelers who like to compare travel deals can now use Kayak as part of Google Now. Kayak helps users find flights, hotels, and rental cars, comparing multiple sites to find the best deals. Users can be alerted to price changes for regularly-taken flights, as well as compare hotel reviews and ratings.
Whether you're looking for local transportation to meet clients, or a way to get around a new city, the pink mustache mobiles of Lyft are now available through Google Now. Lyft is a ridesharing app and, in the spirit of the sharing economy, you can expect a variety of people driving a variety of cars when you request a ride. Lyft handles the payment and tip for you, so it is easier to get out and on your way when you arrive at your destination.
If ridesharing isn't your style, you can hail a regular taxi cab or luxury car through Hailo. The app is available in many European countries, so it is a good option for international travelers. For business travelers, Hailo helps you track your trip history and receipts, making your expense reports that much easier when you make it back into the office.
Whether you're trekking along in your daily commute, or you're heading to new part of the city for a client meeting, it's nice to know where the traffic jams are. Professionals can now use Waze, the social navigation and mapping app, through Google Now to track traffic patterns, driving hazards, and police traps. Users can also import contacts and send their ETA to the folks who are waiting for them.
The Economist is a weekly business publication that offers stories on issues like business, technology, finance, and culture. The Google Now integration will remind users to finish reading an issue or article.
For independent contractors and small business owners looking to track their finances, the Mint app offers a unique way to track your expenses and manage a budget. Google Now users can receives alerts and updates such as when you have used a specific percentage of your budget in a given amount of time. This works especially well for budget-conscious business travelers who want to remain aware of their expenses.
For the technophiles interested in Bitcoin, there is the Bitcoin Wallet by Coinbase. More than 30,000 merchants take bitcoin payments through Coinbase, so it's a good way to have an alternative payment method ready as well.
Duolingo is an app that helps you learn languages, making it a great tool for international business travel. The Google Now card for Duolingo will provide personalized language lesson recommendations for users, prompting you to continue practicing a language through the app's fun interface.
What do you think?
What Google Now cards are helpful to you as a professional? Let us know in the comments below.
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.