Google's very own personal assistant has finally made its way to iOS devices all thanks to a new update hitting the Google Search app today. While we'd like to say it's almost an exact experience from its Android counterpart, there are a few features left out that don't make it as convenient.
When you visit Google Search after updating for the first time you'll be greeted with a short tutorial video explaining how Cards and Now works. You'll have to sign into your Google account first before you can get anything working though.
Aesthetically, the app looks just as close as the real deal seen on Android devices; Voice and text search are both available with astounding results when it comes to its recognition -- nothing like some of the crazier stuff Siri likes to think your're saying. Cards can be accessed with a swipe up and they work in the same manner as usual -- swiping them to the right removes them from site, and scrolling further down reveals more cards. A few cards are missing, however, like Fandango, airline boarding pass, and local events, though, 22 out of the full 29 are present.
The main issue working against Google Now on iOS is the gaping hole found in the lacking notifications. You will NOT receive any notifications from the app on your device unless you physically go to the Google Search app and swipe up. While its predictive, personal assistant nature is still in place, it only pushes this information to you when you're within the app. Think of it as the fee you pay for using the native Android version. Because of that, when Cards gets data for your next appointment, it will actually fetch that information from your Google Calendar and NOT the local calendar app found on your device. Yep. That kinda sucks.
But if you're looking for the staples like directions, sports scores, nearby places to eat, and the local weather then all that is present on the iOS version and you'll be pretty content with you what you find.
Google is aware that Now has become a user favorite and have even played with the idea of bringing it to Chrome, but the service's bread and butter is its mobile predictability in finding what you need next before you get there.
Google's CEO Larry Page said that the goal of Google Now, "is to get you the right information, at just the right time [...] Looking for the nearest pharmacy? Just ask Google for directions, and we'll deliver them instantly. No typing needed. And you can now ask conversational questions like 'Do I need a jacket this weekend?'"
That being said, we feel this is just the beginning of what will eventually arrive on the app for iOS users through various updates coming in the future.