Pando

Google partners with delivery companies to make it even harder for consumers to live without it

By Nathaniel Mott , written on May 8, 2015

From The News Desk

Google is making it even harder to abandon its service.

The company has announced partnerships with Eat24, Seamless, and other companies to offer consumers the ability to order food from its search page. People no longer have to look for a restaurant on Google, find it again in a different application, and then finally place an order. It's all done right there.

This feature is a lot like the improved advertisements Facebook just added to its own service. Facebook made it easier to be taken to a specific place inside an application; Google is making it easier to order from a specific restaurant in a food delivery app. Different functions, sure, but it's the same general concept.

Google has been working to make sure everything someone wants to do can be accomplished via its applications. Google Now collects data from many sources into one place, Voice Controls allows consumers to interact with many apps by saying "OK Google," and now Google's search results connect delivery services.

As I wrote when Google revealed the changes to Voice Control last Friday:

Unless you make a conscious effort to use applications on their own terms — or simply want to do something even Google can’t enable with these tools — it’s going to become easier and easier to interact with Google instead of other apps.

All you have to do is say 'OK Google.'

For all the talk that Android and Apple are inherently different philosophies– one open and one closed– Google’s tentacles reaching into apps in the name of more cohesive user experience are certainly looking Apple-esque. Apps used to exist in their own little areas. Downloading them was like placing a new hammer or screwdriver into a tool belt. Google's trying to make it more like adding new gadgets to a multitool. In the first scenario, apps are their own tools; in the second, they're just making Google a better tool in its own right.

Do consumers prefer wearing a tool belt that looks an awful lot like an iPhone, or would they rather be using the technical equivalent to a Swiss Army Knife? Many of the things Google has announced in the last few months, from the changes to Google Now to these partnerships, suggest it's hoping for the latter.

[illustration by Brad Jonas]