Google is about to make it a whole lot more powerful.
At the moment, Google Now mostly pulls from Google services like Gmail, Maps, and search. It surfaces content from sites you visit regularly, summarizes your calendar, offers travel directions and estimated arrival times, and provides weather alerts and restaurant recommendations based on your location. It's a helpful personal assistant, but it's limited in scope.
That's about to change. Aparna Chennapragada, director of product management for Google Now, announced at SXSW that the service eventually will open its API to all app developers. The news, first reported by The Next Web, means the most valuable information within the apps on your phone could one day feed into a single, streamlined Google Now experience.