Google Now knows what you like

The Life: Google Now's free app for iPhone and iPad users advises and guides users through the day's activities.

A Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy S III smartphone shows the Google Inc. home page at a launch event in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday, June 25, 2012. Samsung, the world's largest handset maker, said the Galaxy S III will help mobile earnings surpass the first-quarter record, after users responded more positively to the latest smartphone model. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg *** Local Caption ***  1054437.jpg
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It may be some time before we can jump into our car saying "Home" and it takes us there. However, thanks to the recent release of Google Now's free app for iPhone and iPad users, the days of your computer knowing your every move before you've made it are a step closer.

Billed as a direct rival to Apple's Siri, the aim of Google Now is to learn and understand a user's preferences. This involves drawing upon information gleaned from search requests and interactions within the company's range of services, providing prominent useful information before it's even asked to do so.

If everything works as it should, Google Now will assist you throughout your everyday activities. It can tell you how the weather is when you wake up, help you decide what is appropriate to wear for your appointments and give you up-to-date traffic reports for your area.

On the weekend, it will keep you posted on your favourite sports teams or make suggestions for a movie at the local multiplex.

If you're travelling abroad it can provide currency conversions, local language assistance and tell you the time difference between your location and back home.

This automatic information is stored via "cards" which the user completes with their relevant information at the outset and can be changed at any time. The cards pop up at various points when believed to be relevant to the user's requirements at that specific moment.

By peering ever deeper into a user's brain, Google hopes to provide more reliable information and advertising - its main source of revenue. The launch on to the iOS platform, and its appearance in recent commercial activity, underpins the ambition the company has for Google Now and the pivotal role it will play in its future aspirations.