Google is said to be bringing Google Now, its intuitive personal assistant for Android devices, to iOS devices such as the iPhone and the iPad. So what would Google Now on iOS offer that’s different from the Android-integrated app?
Google Now delivers real-time information anticipating a user’s future needs, such as their flight details, currency rates when you’re visiting another country, the fastest way to get from point A to B, updated game scores, shopping deals, new movies out in theaters, the weather, and much more.
iOS devices get to enjoy the above mentioned features via its own apps, not to mention Apple’s clearly working on its own service-oriented competitor with features like Siri and Passbook. So what’s the big deal with Google Now hitting iOS devices?
First off, all the information you need is curated in one place, no need to open multiple apps just to get directions, pull up your boarding pass, check the weather or get real-time traffic updates.
We all know Google is out for world domination so making Google Now available in both Android and iOS, the two top mobile platforms, is a good step. It also shows how “open” Google is by making it available to mobile users on rivaling devices and operating systems.
A leaked promotional video for Google Now surfaced last night (copy below), showing some features iOS users would get to enjoy if the app becomes available for them, but there’s no further details on whether or not this is a real effort on Google’s part, or when the app would be available to iOS users. The video was promptly removed, but
Fake or real, if Google Now is to come to iOS devices, what standout features could we hope to get?
A little Jelly Bean in your iOS
Google Now has been one of the most notable updates to Android’s OS, making Jelly Bean devices some of the most productive to date. Google Now’s deeply integrated into Android’s backend, delivering alerts at the right time and handling a certain amount of tasks on your behalf.
While we can’t expect Google Now to be as deeply integrated into iOS as it is Android, its Search Bar access + notification capabilities will help centralize the experience, your tasks and your upcoming needs. At its core, Google Now is a conceptual revolution on how we interact with our mobile devices, and how intelligent systems can help us with daily tasks. Given Google’s presence beyond any single mobile OS, Now’s ability to incorporate your Google Calendar, email, Wallet and other in-house apps could really fill in a few gaps still present with iOS.
There aren’t too many apps and iPhone features that are integrated with Siri, but we think that should change. If Google Now could leverage Siri’s technology, both services would benefit from Siri’s ability to tap into other native capabilities of iOS. While rivals, we truly hope Apple can find better ways to open up Siri’s technology for third-party integration, making a truly useful AI that can actually act as a personal assistant.
The iOS experience, enhanced with Google’s brain power. With all iOS apps, the user interface is reduced to a uniform format that keeps the user experience relatively consistent. Google Now, in its effort to reach more users on rival operating systems, will need to deliver the best interface possible as it pushes a completely new service onto its learning public. And though Google’s made significant strides to improve its user interface in the past 12 months alone, wrapping an app like Google Now in an iOS interface could actually help Google in user adoption and retention.