The intelligent assistant Google Now, which has been an Android exclusive till now, is now available as a part of Google’s Search app on Apple’s iOS platforms. Google Now is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod in version 3.0 of the official Google Search application available in the iOS app store. The iPhone, iPad or iPod should be running iOS 5.0 or later.
Google Now is built up on the technology that taps into Google’s various online services ranging from Web Search to personal Gmail to provide relevant information in pop-up windows that Google refers to as ‘cards’. A comparison chart posted online by Google establishes that the iOS version only supports 21 of the 29 types of cards available on Android.
With Google Now, users can:
- Receive weather and traffic conditions at relevant times of the day
- Receive updates on your favorite movies, news updates, sports etc.
- Receive updates on flight updates, birthdays, appointments, travel tools, public transport etc.
- Discover events and photo spots nearby, places nearby and control activity summary and public alerts
Google Now is touted as the direct competitor to Apple’s own Personal Assistant offering Siri, which serves as the primary service that Apple users depend on. It will differ from Android version of Google Now in which users can swipe the homescreen to quickly access the pop-up cards or view them in notification panel. Apple’s iOS Google Now version will only display these cards when a user has opened the Google Search app.
A leak earlier this year provided evidence that Google Now for iOS is in development. Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt created a controversy last month when he said that Apple was blocking Google Now from iOS, but it came to light that Google has not even submitted the app for review. The Smartphone has become the key battleground between Google’s Android and Apple (iOS).
Last year in September, Apple replaced Google Maps on iOS with their own offering receiving rave negative reviews as it committed embarrassing errors forcing Apple CEO Tim Cook to offer a public apology and Google Maps as alternative. We finally have both Google Maps and Google Now on Apple’s iOS, even though the Cupertino giant does not like it a bit and this will probably be there a lot longer than Apple would like it to.