Apple did a lot of borrowing for the latest release of its mobile operating system, and MacRumors found something in iOS 7 that will seem awfully familiar to Google Now users. It’s a series of notifications that appear under a tab called Today — the feature can show users the current weather for places they may be going, alert them to traffic before their regular commute, and, like a personal assistant, tell them what their schedule looks like for the morning.
Alerts appear under a Today tab in the Notifications Center, which you can turn on in the Settings app. The data, according to some info that MacRumors found, comes from different sources within iOS. Traffic information about frequently visited locations is gathered if the user turns on the Frequent Locations feature under Location Services.
Today, at least in its current beta incarnation and as currently understood, is much less robust than Google Now, which does much more than provide traffic, weather and scheduling. Google Now will not only check traffic related to events on a user’s Google Calendar, it can alert them to everything from flight delays to sports scores, local sightseeing recommendations and package delivery notifications. All of that information is gleaned from users’ activities within other Google services. Google Now has been available on the iOS platform as part of the Google Search app since April.
But even if Today isn’t as full-featured, the ambition seems similar: to anticipate information for iOS users before they need it. Anticipatory computing is still in its infancy. But with Google and Apple, with one of the most ubiquitous mobile operating systems and one of the most ubiquitous mobile computing devices in the world, are the best candidates of moving anticipatory tech into the mainstream.