Not Just Parking: Google Now With Offline Cards, Indoor Maps, Shopping Reminders

Google iOS Search AppEarlier today Barry Schwartz wrote that the updated Google Search App for Android will now help you locate your car in a parking lot or on the street. The feature shows you a map and points you in the right direction back to your vehicle.

But wait, there’s more. We’ve learned that this “parking locator card” is just one of several new features and capabilities in the updated Android version of Google Now. No word on iOS yet.

Among the new Now features currently rolling out, in addition to parking-locator cards, are the following:

  • Offline support: Google Now cards will remain loaded when users lose their internet or mobile connections
  • Indoor maps: in “some malls” Google Now will offer a searchable directory of stores (US + Japan) and then take users to an indoor map of that mall. We don’t know which particular malls but probably the ones available on the US and Japan lists here. In addition Google has individual store maps (probably coming later) for some retailers such as Best Buy, Home Depot, Ikea and others. It doesn’t have everyone store in those chains however.
  • Product search reminders: If you’ve done a previous search for a product online or on a mobile device and you happen to be near a store that carries that product, Google will show you a Now card (kind of like a reminder/notification) about the product.

This last item is the most intriguing and potentially most powerful. Your search history effectively becomes a kind of shopping list that Google will send you prompts about if the store (at least online) carries the item. The company is not making (to my knowledge) any statements about real-time availability. That’s up to users to check.

I could easily imagine this capability being tied into PLAs. It’s a kind of geofenced product notification based on your own expressed interests.

As we discover more information and features we’ll update this post.

Google Now new features


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