In early October, Google released an updated version of its app to include a convenient bill reminder feature. The new and improved Google Search (iOS) and Google Now apps will also place a reminder card in your app, so you never miss another bill again. Google’s app finds your upcoming bills through Gmail.
Using Gmail Bill Search
Google makes it easy to find your bills that are due. Simply tap the microphone on the Google app and say “My bills due this week” or “Show me my bills.” The app will create a list of any bills in your Gmail inbox that Google understands as a bill. Information such as the cost of the bill, its due date and the billing company will be included in the summary.
The new feature is just one of many of Google’s latest attempts to make their service more convenient and easy for mobile users. The new feature may not be innovative in design, but the new functionality is a testament to how smart Google’s search has become.
The Pros and Cons of the New Gmail Bill Search
It’s still too early to tell if this new feature will be something Google keeps around, but right from the get-go, we can see some benefits and some drawbacks to using the bill reminder.
The most obvious benefit is that you will be reminded of bills that are due soon, which helps ensure that you pay your bills on time. The feature is easy to use; you simply ask Google to find your bills that are due this week. The app will even create a reminder card, so you don’t have to keep asking the app to remind you of upcoming bills.
That being said, there are two major issues with this feature that may not make it as useful as it seems. For starters, Google’s bill search can only find bills in your Gmail inbox. In other words, don’t expect to rely on this reminder feature to pay all of your bills – unless copies of all of your bills are sent to your Gmail inbox each week.
Another potential issue with this feature is that it requires you to actively search for bills that are due. If you’re the type of person who is forgetful, you may not remember to search for your due bills each week. These are not automatic reminders; you have to ask Google to search your inbox for you.
For some people, privacy will be an obvious concern. However, Google reassures that only you will see the search result containing information about your bills.
These two issues aside, the bill search feature and reminder is a step in the right direction for Google. Whether or not people will use the bill search is still up for debate, but it’s nice to have the option of finding out which bills are due without having to dig through emails. Simply ask Google to find them for you, and you can pay any upcoming bills directly from your phone. It’s a great option for those who are always on the go.