The Google Search app on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) devices has been changed, so when users update it, they’ll find themselves faced with the Google Now app. The app is essentially a search engine on steroids combined with a personal assistant. It tries to know what users want, what they’re doing, and how to help them. It does so by rounding up information on users’ other Google applications — like Gmail and Google Calendar — and then it keeps track of that data to give users reminders or inform them of facts that might be pertinent, like increased traffic along a common commuting route.
The tech giant said that the iOS version of Google Now is more or less the same as the Android version, though there are some things it simply couldn’t do because of limitations imposed by Apple’s operating system. Certain home-screen swiping features and a number of other Google Now cards aren’t available on the iOS version so far…
The application has been around since last June, coming preloaded on Android devices running Jelly Bean software. Its capabilities are intended to assist users in their daily lives as well as while traveling. A number of features make it a potentially handy travel assistant — considering it can keep track of your travel information and documents and work out some helpful translations. However, there could be concerns about the information it acquires.
There was recently trouble with Google gleaning information from wireless networks as its cars drove around the U.S. and Europe to create the Street View for Google Maps. Google got in a fair bit of trouble for collecting that data. This could have concerned some potential users and keep them from wanting it on their devices.
On the other hand, it may not be Google Now that should worry iOS users. Rather, it may be Siri that should cause concern. Google Now is essentially Google’s answer to Siri, and as it gains popularity, Siri could fall to the wayside. This could be especially beneficial for Google, as Siri had been cutting down on searches through Google from iOS devices.
There’s really no saying how it will play out. Google Now has only been available on iOS for a short time, while Siri has been working its way — with a little sass here and there — into the hearts of some users who may not wish to replace the app.
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