Google is moving onto Siri’s turf with the release of Google Now now available for iPhone and iPad platforms. The voice-actuated system has been running on Android-based phones for some time now. Its powerful features are sort of a pocket-based concierge, able to not only search Google, but the ability to control your phone, much like Siri. Even more impressive is in the way it integrates with a user’s daily routine. Each morning it delivers the weather, calendar for the day, traffic information, where is home and where is work, and it does this all by learning your behaviors.
Through it all, it’s the learning that makes Google Now so unique and a step ahead of Siri. Rather than having to have a user ask Siri about what information they want, Google Now ideally already has figured that out. It does this by gathering information from your entire Google world, from search requests, location services, and so on. The Apple version is being deployed as a component of the Google Search app, which is different than the operating system-integrated Android version. The experience however has been maintained, which is a nice touch and in line with Google’s continued attention to minimalist consistency.
The question on many people’s minds is whether Siri is threatened by this. I would say that a sizable number of users will gravitate towards Google Now. That is until Siri perhaps comes out with some new developments. Still, it may be troubling to Apple that a good deal of users are quite comfortable and open to replacing default Apple applications with other apps. Even further, Google is always there, reaching out into the platform. It was not too long ago that the new Google Maps release for iOS had many dumping Apple’s Maps, because it was just so much better. Anyway, go check out Google Now – I’ve been on it for a while – it has a bit of a creepy factor when it knows everything, but I’ve actually started to depend on it for quite a bit lately.