Foursquare cards are popping up in Google Now, even without the app

Google Now has been serving up cards with info from your apps for a while. According to a report in VentureBeat, you might start seeing cards from apps you don't have installed -- starting with Foursquare. Cards with tips from the app were spotted alongside Google's own regular location-based recommendations. Foursquare still isn't listed on Google's partner page, so likely these cards are part of a limited trial, and the search giant isn't confirming anything when asked.

Foursquare thrived for a long time as a standalone app, but as competition mounted (from services such as Google Now, ironically) it diversified, making use of its most valuable asset: its data. Twitter started working with Foursquare to provide location info to tweets, and earlier this year, erased the need to have an account to find that killer cup of joe at all.

What's perhaps more interesting, is that Google already has its own service for providing recommendations for restaurants and cafes: Zagat. It appears, in trial, that the two services can live together, with Foursquare's pin-point accuracy being able to serve more specific recommendations. Whether Foursquare-powered cards will become part of Google Now's regular offerings isn't clear. And remember, you can opt-out of any providers -- which is especially important when it's an app you don't have installed. No one wants surprise cards from Tinder, do they?