Google Now just got bigger and better

Some 70 third-party apps including Spotify and Feedly gain access to Google's smart assistant

When Google opened up Now’s helpful, context-sensitive cards to third-party companies earlier this year, about 40 apps took advantage of the functionality. Three months later, that total has surged with numerous newcomers.

Seventy to be exact - Google announced the additions today, bringing the tally of third-party apps that play nice with Now beyond 100. And many of the apps are headline options that you may already have installed on your Android phone.

Spotify, for example, can now suggest playlists that match up well with your own musical tastes, while apps like Circa and Feedly will shoot you breaking news cards and Runkeeper, Jawbone, and Adidas will prompt you to get back to your fitness goals. OpenTable, meanwhile, will let you pay your bill at a restaurant by tapping the Now card.

Some of these sound totally helpful - like U.S. car sharing service Zipcar using cards to show your car reservation details and the drop-off location. Something like Spotify’s, on the other hand, has us thinking back to our earlier concern back in January: will all of these added messages start to become a bother as inessential notes stack up?

We’ll have to see how it all pans out, but hopefully it’s a net positive overall. You’ll need to update the Google app and any compatible third-party apps, and then be sure to check out the listing of new Now-compatible apps to see which might be sending you cards in the coming weeks.

[Source: Google - Inside Search]