I’m standing in a queue for a bakery in Stuttgart airport when there’s a buzzing in my pocket. I pick up my HTC Android phone, wondering whether it’s another Snapchat from a friend who was also on holiday, also sharing snaps incessantly.
It’s not a Snapchat. It’s a notification from Google Now. According to Google, my flight has been delayed. I pay for the sandwiches and check the departure screen. “On schedule”. I ask a nearby member of staff. He hasn’t heard anything.
“Google says our flight is delayed,” I say to my wife when I get back with our sandwiches, “but the screens aren’t saying anything.”
“I believe Google,” she answers.
Google keeps telling me news about Arsenal football club. “6-0, Chelsea - Arsenal” it notified me last year with clinical detachment. Thanks for the update. The match was yesterday. “It should be called Google Then”, I joked on Twitter.
About half an hour after Google told me about our flight, the departure screens were updated and an announcement was made in the speaker system. My wife was right. Google was right. I didn’t post a Google Then joke on Twitter that day.
Today I’m flying to Hanover on my way to Berlin. Google Now is already, without being asked, showing me information about my flight, what the weather is like at our first destination (Quedlinburg), and information about our first hotel. Spooky? A little. Especially because the NSA probably has a direct feed to all this information, which is farmed from my GMail account. Convenient? Very much so.
Next time, I’ll believe Google.