Letting Google in, was it worth it?

Google Now? Maybe Later...

After a week of allowing Google to keep a history of my location I have an answer: not really, but maybe given time.

Prior to this experiment, Google Now would offer me weather information at “Home” and “Work” (two locations I explicitly setup within Google Now). When asking for “More” it would show me commute time either to or from work, depending on my current location.

After allowing Google to keep a history of my location, Google Now offered me little more:

  • Only one time, out of the five days, did it show me commute time prior to explicitly asking for it.
  • After the second day, it started to show me parking information while at work, in case I forget the general area where I parked my car – useful, if I didn’t park in the same place every day.

Granted, I only allowed Google a weeks worth of information. The results may be different if I allowed it a longer time period (to both gather data and generate trends). But, if allowing a vast amount of my location data to be aggregated gives me the sole benefit of not having to press the More button in Google Now to see my commute time?

I’ll stick with the More Button.

Google Now More

Letting Google in, is it worth it?


I have been an avid Android device user for about four years but I have kept the majority of Google tracking services at bay. I disabled Web and location history because where I have been, either physically or digitally, is my own business.

I often wonder how my experiences would differ if I were to switch them back on. What services become instantly more useful? How do I benefit from Google knowing more about me? I have been fine so far without them, should I even care?

I decided to find out, with the lesser (in my opinion) of the two, and have re-enabled location tracking. My device, and therefore Google, knows where I am at any given moment – what can they show me knowing where I have been over the course of a week?

I will be relying on Google Now to provide insight on my location data. I continue to hear wonderful information that Now provides.

Currently, when I visit Google Now I see:

  • Weather
  • Package Shipping Information
  • Commute Times To/From Work & Home

In a week, I will write an update on what Google Now decides to show me.

Let’s see some magic, Google.

Final – Google Play Store Errors

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I was having issues with the Google Play Store. Thankfully the problem has been resolved. No action was taken on my part. I did not change anything, or do anything special. Just reported the issue.

All I can assume is that the problem was indeed on Google’s end. The discussion on the Google Product Forum shows that other people who were having the same issue are seeing it resolved as well.

Update 2 – Google Play Store Errors

In another update, my phone has been updated on several fronts:

  • My phone has gotten the Android 4.4.2; build number KXA20.16-1.31.1
  • The Google Play Store has been updated to version 4.6.17

It’s still broken. The Play Store app is still showing all the problems as mentioned in my last two posts (post 1 and post 2).

I did find a Google Product forum with people complaining about the same issue though.

Posting a link of these few blog posts there.

Update – Google Play Store Errors

As mentioned in a previous post, I have been having issues with the Android Google Play Store App.

I tried my Moto X’s Google Play Store App while my Xoom was powered on – it did not work.

Just trying a hunch, I attempted to access my Google Play Store on my Moto X while my Xoom was powered down – it worked fine.

Afterwards, I powered back up my Xoom and tried it’s Google Play store – it worked fine. Trying my Moto X while the Xoom was now powered up again, it worked.

However, a restart of my Moto X showed that the Google Play Store App was again not functioning upon restarting, with the Xoom powered on.

Seems that the issue is tied to multiple devices, using the same account.