April 29, 2013
Apple’s Siri Could Be Usurped By Competitor
Google today has released its personal assistant, Google Now, for Apple’s iPhone and iPad — it is available as part of the updated Google Search app.
“Today, with the launch of Google Now on iPhone and iPad, your Smartphone will become even smarter,” said engineer Andre Huey in a blog post. “Together, Google Now and voice search will make your day run a little smoother.”
Much like the Android version of Google Now, the version for iOS answers user-initiated queries and predicts what users will want based on their search habits.
For instance, users are shown the daily forecast so they know how to dress for the day and are offered the best route to get to their destination based on traffic. It reminds users of appointments and keeps them updated on the news stories they have been following.
“There’s no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most—and the more you use Google Now, the more you get out of it,” Huey said.
The Google Search app, meanwhile, offers instant answers to users’ questions. Users simply tap the microphone and ask a question. The program quickly offers spoken answers.
If a user, for example, asks Google, “Do I need sunscreen this weekend?” he will receive the forecast. If he asks to see nearby Chinese food restaurants, he will be shown a map of area eateries along with directions, phone numbers, ratings and hours.
Google CEO Larry Page is predicting apps with a voice command feature will become very popular.
“It’s just much less hassle to talk than type,” he said in a Google+ post. “Looking for the nearest pharmacy? Just ask Google for directions, and we’ll deliver them instantly … no typing needed. And you can now ask conversational questions like — “do I need a jacket this weekend?””
Not all of the 29 Android cards for Google Now are supported by iOS. According to Venture Beat, Boarding Pass, Activity summary, Events, Zillow, Fandango, and Nearby events are not available.
Those using Google Now on iOS powered devices must first log into their Google accounts to use the app.
Google Now will likely soon be added to Google’s homepage as well.
According to the Google Operating System blog, a page of coding being tested by Google seems to indicate Google Now will be added to Google’s home page, making it accessible to all users, no matter what their device.
“Get started with Google Now. Just the right information at just the right time,” the code reads.
“Google Now uses your Home location to show relevant information like weather, traffic conditions, and nearby places.”
Now will also allow users to edit their home location, work location and the current location as well as track their favorite stocks, according to the report. If this feature is integrated with its homepage, it should, in theory, consistently provide users with content they will find relevant and interesting.