Interesting report from Mark Bergen at Recode:
Google teased [Now on Tap] with some fanfare in May, at its I/O developer conference, as a breakthrough iteration of Google Now, its personal assistant and one of the twin bedrocks for CEO Larry Page when he returned as executive in 2011.
What went unannounced was that most of the original team that built Now had departed, many of them just before I/O, according to multiple sources. Some had grown frustrated that the product, born within Android, was shuttered into search inside of Google, they said. And Sundar Pichai, Google’s SVP and incoming CEO, did not prioritize the product as much as Page.
Google could be increasing the priority of Now and they feel as though making it a core component of their search product is the best way to do that. But the article by Bergen paints a picture of a frankly brilliant product being eroded to fit within the confines of Google’s core business model. This is particularly intriguing as Apple is weeks away from unleashing their take on predictive search with iOS 9’s Proactive. As Apple increases their focus on predictive search, Google appears to be reducing theirs somewhat. Peculiar.