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Commentary – This is what comes after search

Christopher Mims - Quartz: “The average person with an Android smartphone is using it to search the web, from a browser, only 1.25 times per day, says Roi Carthy, head of special projects at Tel Aviv-based mobile startup Everything.Me. That isn’t just bad news for Google, which still relies on ads placed along search results for the bulk of its revenue—it also signals a gigantic, fundamental shift in how people interact with the web. It’s a shift upon which fortunes will be made and lost Carthy knows how often people use search on Android because once you install his company’s Everything.Me software, it replaces the home screen on an Android smartphone with one that is uniquely customized to you. And then Everything.Me collects data on how often you search, plus a whole lot else, including where you are, where you go, which apps you use, the contents of your calendar, etc. This kind of data collection is key to how Everything.Me works, and if Carthy and his investors, who have already sunk $37 million into his company are right, it’s the sort of thing many other companies will be doing on smartphones, all in the name of bringing people what comes after search.  Carthy says that, in contrast to the paltry number of times users of Everything.Me are searching the web each day, they’re engaging in context-based interactions with their customized home screens dozens of times a day. In other words, in the old days, if you wanted to do something—navigate to the restaurant where you’ve got a dinner reservation—you might open a web browser and search for its address. But in the post-search world of context—in which our devices know so much about us that they can guess our intentions—your phone is already displaying a route to that restaurant, as well as traffic conditions, and how long it will take you to get there, the moment you pull your phone out of your pocket.”

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