The engineers who started Google Now have left the company. Why?
When Google Now launched as a major feature on Android Jelly Bean, many users, particularly Android enthusiasts, cheered because the feature fulfilled what many hoped for: a smart, intelligent app that would display nifty notification called cards on mobile devices.
However, Google Now is facing a new set of challenges. One of them is Microsoft's Bing app, which was recently updated to include a new feature dubbed Snapshots. This technology allows users to view information without exiting the search engine. Moreover, it enabled Bing to share its information architecture to other apps.
It didn't help that Microsoft launched the feature first on Android. The problem here is that Google has been working on a similar feature. At Google I/O, the company teased a similar feature called Now on Tap, the latest iteration of Google Now.
This means that Microsoft has forestalled Google in launching such as feature first. Google's Now on Tap is launching later this year, alongside the debut of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Analysts said it was quite unusual for Google to pre-announce features such as Now on Tap before they are ready and operational. It's also worth noting that Apple is planning to release a similar feature.
To make matters worse, the original team who worked on Google Now have left the company. According to Re/code, two of the engineers who started Google Now have left in March. Other engineers followed later, leaving one pioneer in the team.
Apparently, the reason why people are leaving is due to the decision of incoming CEO Sundar Pichai to integrate Google Now within Google Search. Sources with knowledge of the situation said that Amit Singhal, SVP of Google Search, requested Google Now to transfer from Android to Search.
When Pichai approved Singhal's request, many engineers objected because the original vision of Google Now was to become a nifty mobile assistant for mobile devices, and not within search.
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