Forgotten bills are now a thing of the past.
With Google Now, keeping up with your utility, phone and credit card bills is now made even easier. Google recently announced that it will enable its personal assistant technology Google Now to scan your Gmail email account for bills, read all the important details and send you a reminder so you would not miss paying another bill ever again.
How does it work?
Users who want to manage their bills using this functionality should turn on the Google Now feature in their search app and give Google the permission to access information from their Gmail account. When activated, you will see the bill payment reminder along with Google’s existing cards for news, weather, and sports updates, flight information and boarding passes, restaurant reservations, time and location reminders, and more.?
To check your upcoming bills, you can simply tap the microphone icon on the Google app, say “Show me my bills” or “My bills due this week”, and you will automatically see the biller’s name, the amount you have to pay and when the payment is due. In addition, you can also see the summary of your past bills. If you want to get more information about a particular bill, you can simply tap the “view email” button and you will be able to read the original email.?
This feature may come in handy, especially for those who have so many bills and those who tend to forget to pay their bills on time. It can also be useful for those who want to know how much they have to pay.
While this functionality is hailed by some as one of the best and most useful features Google has ever come up with, privacy advocates see it as another cause of alarm. The sole fact that Google is capable of scanning your email for bills can be scary, to say the least.
However, some people believe that this should not cause any concern since Google is actually reading your private emails anyway. If you are an existing Gmail user, Google is already aware of all your bills (not to mention your flight information and hotel reservations, among others) so why not let them turn some of those data to serve its users?
In addition to the new bill reminder feature, Google Now also lets users to set up subscription reminders for services such as Amazon Prime, Comcast, Netflix and Hulu Plus.