Google’s predictive search tool Google Now has launched on Apple’s iOS, giving iPhone and iPad users access to the Siri rival for the first time.
The launch is part of an updated Google Search App for iOS. Until its release this week, Google Now had been available exclusively on devices running Android 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”) or higher.
Accessed by swiping upwards from the bottom of the app’s homescreen, Google Now learns about its user through their activities and their history in various Google services. It works by accessing the machine’s location data, and analysing the contents of the person’s Gmail and Google Calendar records as well as their past Google searches.
It then serves up weather forecasts, traffic reports, boarding passes, sports scores and other information when they may be relevant.
Google Now works by offering “cards” filled with information designed to be useful to a smart device user without them needing to type in a search request.
Examples of the results given include:
• Maps suggesting the quickest route home based on the amount of traffic on the roads and the user’s location and web history
• Flight departure updates based on bookings made earlier, details of which are saved in the person’s email account
• Suggested nearby restaurants, museums and shops
• Live sports match results based on Google’s knowledge of which teams the user follows
The facility could potentially draw users away from using Apple’s own personalised search tool, Siri, which relies on users instigating a request.
However, the fact that it involves more screen presses to access Google’s information could discourage some from using it.
View the app here