Google Now available on iPhone and iPad, no longer an Android exclusive

by: Chris SmithApril 29, 2013


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.

  • google shouldn’t have done it :/

    • aholsteinson

      Makes perfect sense for them to do this from a business perspective.

      • i know but still…
        they should have kept atleast on GOOD product as an android exclusive

        • taz89

          True but Google is about getting there services to as many people as possible and it would be stupid of them not to consider the 400+ million iOS users…remember the ultimate experience will still be on android also remember the more people that use it the more Google can make Google now better. So we all end up winners at the end.

  • Steve Wozniak

    F*** iOS and their couch.

  • Ugo Marceau

    I think it’s a good idea. I’m not saying I like iOS but I think the more people use Google Now, the better it gets, given that it’s a self taught search engine, the more data it collects and habits it notices, the faster it will learn. And we have to admit that there are a LOT of iPhones out there.
    Anyway, if you really think it’s bad, remember that GNow is linked to chrome and that each iOS user that uses GNow is more or less giving up safari and handing money to Google ! ;)

  • Danny Solon

    If Google doesn’t care about keeping one of the most competitive features exclusive on its own os (especially that this one made more apple fanboys switch to android) why do we?

    • kascollet

      Google only cares about the total sum of users. The biggest user tank is on iOS -> every Google service MUST be offered to them.

      BTW, this was one of the last features I missed from my ex Nexus 4. Thanks.


    • CrispOffer Robin

      Yeah, it’s almost like Google is out there to make money and not be your best friend!

  • Well so much for showing off Google Now..

  • carlisimo

    Keep in mind that most iOS users have Google accounts and use Google Search (in Safari), Gmail, Google Maps, and other Google stuff. They may not all like Android, but they’re not at war with Google. And many of them switch to Android because they want more integration with Google services – so showing them off can only help.

    But this is also proof that Google Now doesn’t have to be written into the OS – so why can’t Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich have it? Maybe they won’t get all the functionality, but still quite a bit of it.

    • TrixzD

      My thoughts exactly I dont mind Google putting now on IOS but why can’t Google also put it on ics and gb for people who do not have JB on their phones or tablets. They want it to be accessed by most people using smartphones don’t they?

    • Apple_Nexus

      Fair points. Good to hear some mature debate on an android forum.

  • bier

    I don’t mind GNow is on ios, at least android got it first :)

    • TrixzD

      Yeah and at least we don’t take to twitter and other social networking sites to moan *COUGH* INSTAGRAM IOS USERS *COUGH* ;)

  • nishantsirohi123

    bring it to ICS devices

  • Krel Adam

    To be honest, it does look a lot nicer on iOS