If Siri was the cute flirtatious assistant that plays hard to get and never gives it up, Google Now would be your bitch, giving you everything you tell it to and performing as expected. Google Now is made to serve.
Google Now first debuted a year ago at Google’s I/O conference boasting about its stalwart search features and the new dubbed card feature that supplies different categories of information at a thumb swipe, which would all be available in iOS if it was ever added. But now Apple has finally allowed Google Now to enter the App Store cleverly piggy backed onto the Google Search app.
“We think we’ve built a great experience. . .We’re giving you an answer before you’ve even asked,” a quote captured by CNET from Google Now’s product manager Tamar Yehoshua talking about [Google Now’s] predictable search feature. Much like the browser-based version of Google Search, as you type your search topic in the Google Search webpage, you receive a list of search suggestions that pop up below the search box. This is similar in Google Now, as you speak, a voice to text screen shows exactly what you say as you say it while the app starts searching those words and working its algorithmic magic. The outcome is that when you finish speaking, search results are ready and pop up lightning fast with the same level of accuracy we are used to seeing with Google’s search capabilities.
Another amazing thing about Google Now, that sets it apart from Sir,i is that its working even when you’re not asking it too. The bottom of the main screen shows a feature of information cards that can be accessed by swiping up. Then, by swiping left and right, you can see different categories of information. These cards can display anything from current weather, how long your current trip will take, flight information, traffic, appointments, mail, sports scores…the list goes on. (see picture below) Google uses your input, from things you tell it and things you ask it, to create a profile for you that will help it provide the most customized and useful information available to You at your finger tips. Just imagine what it could do if it had the same access to your phone as Siri did.
The Google Search app still has the Google Goggles feature that allows you to search things by taking pictures, be it land marks, logos, bar codes, books and dvds…etc. It in itself can be very useful in finding exactly what you’re looking for instead of typing in words to describe it. You also have access to all of Google’s web-based apps inside the Google Search app. Google Mail, Calendar, Drive, News, YouTube, Translate, etc.
While I do understand that if you really love Google so much, you can get much more function of the Google apps from an android phone. But I’m still a big fan of my iPhone and iPad, as well as an avid loyal user of Google products, and I like the ability to have the best of both worlds at my disposal. Damn it, I want my proverbial cake and eat it too. I really hope we see Apple’s continued effort to make Google apps available in iOS. Google and Apple are both great innovators and make remarkable products. Apple is in the market for making mobile devices, which they do so very well, but they are not so good at making apps. Google, on the other hand, makes their apps awesomely useful and effective, and they are utilized by millions of people daily. To me, it seems only logical that Apple should want to make Google’s apps available, as well as, inclusive into their mobile devices basic functions. People buy apple products, and people use Google apps, if the two companies can learn to work together in this post Jobs industry, Apple and Google will win, and most importantly their customers will win. I think in order for Apple to stay competitive they will need to leave the monarchical Jobs attitude behind and make themselves more compatible with their customers wishes. The reintegration of Google back into Apples products just feels right and gives everyone more options. I remember a very smart but dim-witted character remarking that such things that seem so compatible are like “Peas and Carrots”, they just go together.
- Google Now launches for iOS, available as update to existing Search app (9to5mac.com)
- How to enable Google Now for iOS outside the US (idownloadblog.com)
- Google Search vs. Siri: Voice search speed test (video) (reviews.cnet.com)