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Google Now Should Be Renamed GMAIL Now

I just responded to an e-mail the same way I have responded to e-mails asking the same question for months now.  The question of course is, “Why does my Galaxy not track my flight info?”.   The answer of course is that the Google Now feature of Android phones is only useful if you use Gmail.  We see advertisements and news articles all the time telling us how Google Now will automatically track your flight, your package, and as of yesterday your bus trip.  These all sound great.  Just one little issue.  This only works if you use Gmail for everything.

Many people travel for work, and it would make sense that their flight confirmations are sent to a work e-mail account.  The same can go for packages of course, and other things you want tracked.  Google is sad to tell you that you are out of luck.  Wait, what happens if you use Google Apps? Well this can work, right?  Yes you can use Google Now with a Google Apps account, but then it won’t use your personal e-mail account.  You must pick one!  So if you have a family vacation coming up, that trip will be missed.  Why can’t Google scan the e-mails you put on your phone and get the relevant information for you?  Is it that they want to force all of your e-mails onto their servers? 

The scariest thing I am starting to see are people forwarding their work e-mail to their Gmail accounts just to get this service to be useful.  So IT and legal teams across the world who craft policies and retention rules for their company are being circumvented.  I am sure we have all gotten those e-mails that state a message from Gmail is being sent on behalf of someone. 

Samsung has been working hard trying to prove that their devices are enterprise ready.  They are even sharing some of their Knox technology with Google to include in the next version of Android.  Microsoft has solved this issue by allowing it’s own version of Google Now to go through e-mails on a device, no matter where the e-mail is hosted.  I hope Google does something similar with their service or else many more enterprise customers are going to block Android devices, many have already.

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