I've almost completely stopped using Google Now

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| March 25, 2014

We love new things, don't we? New is the best. If you're anything like me, then you eagerly await the next big reveal, whether it's a new piece of hardware or a new software design. New and shiny is the best, especially when we have to wait a few months, or even longer, to get our hands on something fresh and exciting. Thankfully, some companies have grown accustomed to releasing quick and successive updates to their software, while the manufacturers that give us our mobile devices are more than happy to give us new hardware every year.

Our waiting has been cut short, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier. It may actually make that initial purchase harder, at least when it comes to a device. Why? Because we know that a new one is coming in a year (or so), so we have to justify that price tag to get a new phone, even knowing that we'll probably be upgrading right around the corner.

Software is probably the hardest to wait for, though.

When it comes to hardware refreshes, we kind of know what to expect, and based on history we can guesstimate when a new device might see the light of day. We may be off by a few days here and there, but overall it's pretty routine. Software, on the other hand, is completely up in the air -- especially when it needs an update. We're just at the mercy of the app's developers, and considering how busy they are, bringing new features to something can sometimes take a backseat to other issues or needs.

Considering Google's place, and how much software they have out there in the wild, it's no surprise that updates to their stuff may time some time, but at least we can say they don't ignore apps they release. It's been a little while since Google last updated Google Now, for instance, but I think we all know that updates are going to continuously fall from the pipe for one of Google's most popular features.

It helps that the updates are worthwhile, and bring new things that people want (and often times request). The last major update to the platform included Waze traffic updates, for instance, along with a few new Google Now cards for anyone who loves to keep track of what's going on.

When Google Now was first released, and for a little while afterwards, I used it all the time. I switched back to Android as a whole just so I could use the feature. I've written in the past how much I like it, and how I'd be willing to pay for the app if Google ever made us, due to its usefulness. And now that there's a Google Now launcher available, its usefulness has increased yet again.

And yet, I find myself using it less and less with each passing month.

I've asked you in the past how you'd change Google Now, and I've offered up my own ideas over the months since the feature has been released, and for the most part those "demands" have been met. But I can honestly say that even with those great features added, I just find myself not relying on it as much anymore. And, I think that has a lot to do with the simple mistakes I keep seeing from time to time.

Like last night. It was a busy night in the NHL, with plenty of teams playing, and I have my teams tracked by Google Now to give me updates when I need them. Google Now was tracking three teams last night, or at least it was supposed to be. It started out well enough, but then it just lost one of them altogether -- and nothing I did would bring up the Google Now card. The app started bringing up future games, in fact, instead of the card that would show me the live scores happening now. And then, by the third period of one game, it just stopped tracking the scores altogether.

This has happened to me more often than I can count, and there have been other small annoyances with the app as well. These things build up, and they've just led me to not use the app all that much anymore. If at all. Right now, the only thing I use Google Now for is traffic information, and ultimately I often skip it just to open up Google Maps directly.

I think I still love Google Now, or at least the idea of it, anyway. My lack of usage would indicate that I've just grown out of it, and don't miss its place in my daily routine. I don't know if that gets fixed with future updates, or new features, but I imagine if it became more stable in the things I do want to use it for, I'd probably start using it more often again.

How about you, though? There's no doubt that Google Now is one of Google's strongest features, and something they can expand into a wide assortment of things if they chose to down the line. My question to you is, are you still using it, or has the feature dropped out of your life as well? Let me know if you're still using Google Now, and why or why not.