Google Now - For iPhone Review
This week Google released a version of their amazing Android software, Google Now, as an add on in an update to the Google Search App in the App Store. It took awhile to reroute all my calendars, contacts, mail, etc. through Google, but once it's done, Google Now begins to work it's magic.
First off, Google's Voice Search, which I haven't used till now, destroys Siri. I mean, it's not even a fair race. You can give multi-step queries to Google and it does them, it doesn't ask whether you want to search the Web or open an App, it just does it. Combine that with the power and organization that Google provides, and it's pretty awesome.
One helpful tip it to transition to using Chrome as your default browser. You can easily move your Safari or Firefox bookmarks over. Chrome will sync your browser tabs and whatnot between your devices, but the main reason to transfer your browsing to it is the fact that it is an important way that Now learns. Search for directions or even just visit a specific business location in Chrome, and a directions tab or review pops up in your Now feed. Search for news and scores, those will as well.
Now is slow at first, because it needs to start learning your preferences, favorite places, etc. The more you interact with it and use Google services the quicker it will pick up and offer you new, more relevant information.
The limitations on the Apple App version are immediately apparent though. Now and the voice functions can't tie into your phone dialing, other apps, or directly to your maps app. Apple protects these functions in it's operating system. If you are like myself, you will quickly face the decision whether or not all this is worth pursuing or if you should just put up with Apple's limitations and live within their bounds. For me, unless Apple really opens up in their WWDC 2013 conference, I will be transitioning to an Android platform later this year.
The video below is the Google Ad for the Apple App version of Google Now. Enjoy!