Android Wear's secret weapon: Google Now gets more cards from 70 apps

Google's latest update could be more useful than the Apple Watch's Glances
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If Android Wear has a killer app, Google Now is it. With the Apple Watch's Glances winning fans, Google has just announced 70 new app partners that will work with its updated Now service.

The news means that Google Now will become much more about bringing you information from third party apps, rather than just Google apps and the web.

There's breaking news cards from apps such as Feedly and ABC News, cards for keeping track of return times with the Zipcar app, and fitness goal cards from Jawbone, Adidas and RunKeeper. Spotify controls are already built into Android Wear but the new Spotify card shows playlist and radio suggestions.

Read this: Tag Heuer Android Wear smartwatch - what we know so far

In much the same way as Apple is encouraging developers to provide Glances - snippets of glanceable, useful info from within the app - Google is really expanding the usefulness of Now. We've heard plans from Google before about app indexing and reducing the need to keep opening and closing apps on the smartphone.

This is a first step towards bringing you the information or actions you would be looking for if you chose to find and open individual apps. Pebble is attempting something similar with its Timeline view. Soon, you won't go to the apps, the apps will come to you.

The full list of new Now partners is available on Google's Now integrations page. Some of the more exciting ones include eBay, Runtastic, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Ford and Any.Do. There's still plenty of omissions but don't forget that Android Wear already displays any notifications that would be shown on your phone from apps, if you want it to.

Read this: The best Android Wear smartwatch you can buy

The news follows last week's announcement of a big update to Android Wear including connecting smartwatches to Wi-Fi networks, gesture controls, always-on apps and emoji features.

To get the new features, make sure the Google app on your Android phone updates and then look out for new cards popping up on the Now homescreen and your Wear watch.

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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