Google Now is opening up its API to all developers, in a move that could make the services smart cards start to replace apps.
Aparna Chennapragada, Google’s director of product manager for Google Now, told a crowd at SXSW that the web giant is preparing an upcoming open API that developers would be able to tap into in order to provide Google Now cards where and if they make sense.
Instead of apps, Google Now uses a card based dashboard that provides a custom overview of what’s coming up on a users schedule, any traffic problems on their regular commute to work and what news they might like to read.
At the moment, Google Now mostly pulls from Google services like Gmail, Maps, and search.
Google has 40 apps in a pilot program that’s produced integrations like location-based rewards and ticket codes from Walgreens and Fandango, flight and lodging deals based on recent Kayak and Airbnb activity, and more.
Bringing other app partners aboard would dramatically improve what Google Now can do.