Google Now now available on iOS via Search app

Daniel Bader

April 29, 2013 11:01am

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The good folks at Google’s iOS development team have seen fit to bring over many of the features that have made Android so popular. First it was Gmail, then a true YouTube experience, then Maps, and today the company is making Google Now available to millions of iOS users through an update to its Search app.

The way it works is fairly similar to what you’d find on Android, but Google’s operating system still has the advantage of being able to notify you in the background. Google Now is not yet able to send push notifications, so while you’re able to check the weather or how long it will take to get to work, it’s a matter of remembering to explicitly open the app to receive that information. Google is using WiFi location data to ensure optimal battery life, as plugging into iOS’ GPS API would inevitably lead to a great deal of user displeasure.

Most of Google Now’s core functions are available, and Cards are accessed by a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen, reminiscent to what you’d find across the system in Android. Because it mines your search data and Gmails, Now is able to tell when your upcoming flight is and notify you of a delay, or it’s able to tell you of nearby attractions in the city you’re visiting.

Unlike on Android, to truly take advantage of Google Now for iOS, you’re going to have to remember to open that app, and open it often. Until push notifications are added to the app, it’s the only way to access data from the service. Android users who have integrated Google Now into their lives will scoff at the idea of opening a separate app to receive important notifications, but it’s a compromise one has to accept due to the constricted nature of iOS itself.

Nevertheless, this is just the first version, and from what we’ve seen of Now itself, it’s a fast-changing product.

Download Google Search with Now for iOS. The app is compatible with iPhone and iPad.

  • o_zzy

    Stop injecting android coolness into iOS, GOOGLE!

    • Dylan Neild

      I’d have to risk the inevitable flaming to say that it’s only fair given how much iOS coolness they’ve baked into Android. Circle of life and all that. Realistically though given the market position of iOS (increasing market share in US over Android, etc) not sending their products to iOS doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    • chooch

      Google is in the business of getting your info and selling it, They could care less about this smartphone war. More info=more money

    • alphs22

      Why wouldn’t they want to try to make more money?

  • Aiden

    Honestly given the attitudes towards Google that many Apple users have I can’t pretty much say most people aren’t going to care about this one bit. I know pretty much anyone here at work that has an iPhone just cringes when I talk about Android related stuff because they’re so indoctrinated into hating Google now.

    • alphs22

      Maybe it’s not Google they hate, it’s you shoving Android related stuff down their throats?

      Everyone I know using problems are glad Google Maps is on iOS, so I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Jason

    Anyone able to download this app? i cant pull it up in search

  • Ketchup

    It’s easy to rebut the fandroid trolls as every single google app is WAY better on iOS.
    It’s laughable really.