In January, Google announced a limited Google Now pilot program, integrating 40 third-party apps with its popular digital secretary. At SXSW this weekend, Google's director of product management Aparna Chennapragada said they'll soon be opening the doors to any app that's interested.

What that means is any third-party app can plug into Google Now with the program's upcoming open API. That is quite an expansion and would fundamentally change Google Now from just a convenient digital assistant to a must-have hub for everything on your smartphone.

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In addition to this upcoming app-splosion, Google Now is also toying with new first-party tricks, like relaying ride line times at theme parks and making some Google Now-specific Easter eggs. Because, who doesn't love "do a barrel roll." [TNW]