Google Now Seems to be Learning Contact Addresses When Traveling, Gives Time to Navigate to Them

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A couple of weeks ago, I took a 5-day trip back to my home state of Montana to visit family and friends. I stayed with my dad, of course, but during the stay, I noticed an interesting Google Now card that kept coming up after a day or two after having been there. The card kept popping up with “Time to Dad’s,” as a reminder of how long it would take me to get back to his house. It was like the “Time to Home” card that you see if you have your home location added to your Now location settings. The card shows up if you leave home, so that you always know how long it will take to get back there no matter where you are.

I thought this card was interesting because my dad’s address wasn’t on my calendar, it isn’t in my location settings, and not once did I perform navigation on how to get to his house while I was there, because it’s in my home town of Whitefish and I know exactly how to get there. But over the last couple of days on the trip, each time I left his house, it kept telling me how to get back there, just like that “Time to Home” card. It was as if Google knew I was in Whitefish, MT, and that I was staying with my dad because his address is included in his contact card and I kept hanging out there for hours on end. It also could have been that it was simply looking through contacts to find nearby friends or family and was giving me the time it would take to get to their houses. 

At the time of seeing this card, it struck me as awesome and a bit creepy, but hey, I’ve bought into Google knowing all there is to know about me. I had forgotten about it, though, until a reader of ours pinged us over the weekend with a similar situation.

In the card above, our friend was greeted with directions to a friend’s house upon arriving in San Francisco. He explained it as a friend he would stop to see each time he made his way through SF to catch a Giants game or just say “Hi.” But on this particular trip, he had no plans to see his friend, yet Google was still showing him a card, just in case he wanted to head that way, likely because it knew he often made the trip to his friend’s house when in San Francisco.

I can’t find specific card info on Google’s Now support pages for this type of situation, so I just thought I would share. Again, it comes off a bit creepy that Google does always know where you are and locations of friends or family that you may want to visit when in the area, but I can also see how handy this would be.

Update:  Others in the comments are noticing similar cards. Some for a few months, others just now seeing it for the first time.

Has anyone else experienced a similar card?

Cheers Ben!



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