Google Now has evolved into a surprisingly great contextual search and information system, but it still relies on user information for most of its content. According to a recent interview with Google's VP of search and assist Johanna Wright, that may be changing. QZ.com spoke to Wright, who let a few details on the possible addition of a local news card for Now.
One thing we’re testing right now is a very local hyper-local news card,” says Wright. “Which is really useful—it teaches me things about my neighborhood. For example, I found out Miss Mexico came to my son’s school, I saw that [the local] Chipotle was giving out burritos, and someone was stabbed in the park near my house. It’s very, very targeted to you and your interests.
According to the report, this "local card" is in the very early stages of development, describes as an experimental version that's only being tested internally. But given that Google has been trying to incorporate local search and contextual info into major products like Google+ and Maps, to say nothing of the location-based projects Field Trip and Ingress, it's safe to say that the company really wants this to happen.
Google's somewhat nebulous News service would be a particularly good match for a hyper-local Now card. Sifting through an entire Internet's worth of news for things that are relevant to your area is tricky, and a card that pops up and says "construction planned for your route to work" would be awesome. As a bonus, you wouldn't have to sit through the fluff pieces on the local TV news.
There's no word on when, or indeed if, a localized Now card will make it to end-users on Android.