Google on Monday announced that its Google Now search feature, previously available only on Android devices running Jelly Bean, will now also be available on the iPhone and iPad.
Google Now for iOS doesn’t come as a standalone application, instead it is included in the Google Search application for iPhone and iPad, which needs to be updated in order to show Google Now functionality.
A variety of reports suggested that Google Now was indeed heading to the App Store culminating in mid-March with Google’s Eric Schmidt sort-of acknowledgement of the app. Back then, he said that it’s up to Apple to approve it, with Apple promptly responding that a Google Now app was not in the app approval process. Now, the fact that Google Now is a feature of Google Search for iOS seems to clear up that particular opinion exchange. In their own ways, both Schmidt and Apple were right.
Getting back to Google Now for iOS, iPhone and iPad users should know that not all Google Now features for Android will be included in this first iOS version. As Engadget points out, some cards are missing including “boarding passes, activity summary, events, concerts, Fandango and Zillow,” although they may be offered down the road.
Also missing from the app are notifications and alerts, but at least Google Search users on iOS will still get to perform voice-based searches on their handset and/or tablet.
Google Now may have been a reason to choose Android over iOS for some smartphone and tablet buyers, but keeping it an Android exclusive would not make much sense for Google, which is making most off its money off of Search and ads. Google Now is basically an advanced Search feature which the company will surely want to push to multiple platforms, including iOS.
Recent rumors have also suggested that Google Now is heading to Chrome and Chrome OS, a move that made even more sense than seeing the feature on iOS. In fact, considering that Google Now has hit iOS first, we should see Google Now hit Chrome in the near future.
Oh yeah, and remember that leaked, then pulled, YouTube Google Now for iOS video reportedly posted by Google by mistake? It turns out it was showing us the real deal, as it has just been officially published by the Search giant (see it above) on its YouTube channel.