Move Over Siri: Google Now Comes To iPhone, iPad

Image via testing/Shutterstock

Has Google decided if it can’t beat ‘em, join em? The tech giant released it’s Google Now software to smartphones running Apple’s iOS software nine months after rolling it out to its own Android phones. Releasing its own software to Apple phones may be Google’s latest attempt to lure Team Apple users away from their devices. And it’s not a bad strategy…

I just downloaded the new Google Now app for iOS, and I must say… it’s pretty awesome. I can totally see it dominating my smartphone desktop from now on. Google released the free app for iPhone and iPad yesterday, and it performs a lot of the functions Siri promises, but a lot better.

Image via Google/iTunes

Image via Google/iTunes

Google Now uses a phone’s GPS function to provide a user personalized information without the need for search. Local weather, traffic alerts and driving directions from Google Maps are displayed in the form of cards that can be swiped away if unneeded. Scores of local sports teams, calendar reminders, currency conversions and translations are also available in swipeable cards. And the more Google Now is used, it customizes cards to match the user’s most frequently followed features.

A simple click of an icon also brings up a screen with all of Google Now’s features, including, YouTube, Google Plus, Gmail, Chrome, Offers, Shopper, Books, Translate, Voice, Blogger, News, Photos and more. Basically anything a user might search for in Google can now be reached by tapping an icon.

Google Now also understands speech. By tapping the microphone from Google Now, users can speak to their phones and quickly get answers spoken back to them. And Google Now is just as smart as Siri. If you ask it if you’ll need an umbrella this weekend, it will give you the weather forecast. If you ask it the nearest pizza place, it will break down nearby pizzerias exactly as if you’d typed in a search, including directions, phone numbers and a map.

But Google believes that its software is actually smarter than Siri because it will “learn” a user’s preferences and proactively provide information before it’s asked for it. Obviously, as iOS users know, Siri can learn your language but only answers questions reactively.

Of course, Google isn’t giving iOS users the full flavor of Google Now, as it wants them to hop aboard Team Android for all the benefits. Apple users aren’t able to get information about concerts or nearby events with Google Now, nor are they able to get boarding passes for upcoming flights. Likewise, Google Now does not provide push notifications for iOS users, instead they have to tap the Google app every time they want to see new information.