Google Now Coming To iOS?
Engadget has posted what they believe is a “leaked” video of Google Now for iOS that was accidentally posted on YouTube and then removed.
Supposedly, Now will be accessible in an upcoming iOS app update simply by swiping up from the main screen. Of course, there's always the chance that is an impressive fake or even a canceled project that's only being leaked now. We've reached out to Google for comment, but even if the search giant remains silent, we're confident the truth will be known soon enough.
Two weeks ago, I said this when comparing Google Voice Search to Siri:
Now, four months after Google Voice Search launched, I still think Google's implementation is, from a user experience standpoint, superior. While it's nice that Siri says things like "Ok, here you go", I just want to get results faster. I don't care if my virtual assistant has manners: I want it to be neutral and efficient. Is Siri's distinct personality a key element to its success? Does the way Siri is built justify the fact that Google Voice Search is almost twice as fast as Siri? Or are Siri's manners just a way to give some feedback while the software is working on a process that, in practice, takes more seconds than Google's?
In that post, I was speculating on the possibility of a Google Assistant that would play by Apple's rules to mix voice commands with native iOS apps like Reminders and Messages.
However, rather than going through the effort to develop such a Siri clone, it appears Google may be taking the “obvious” approach: porting Google Now to iOS by putting it inside the existing Google Search app. It looks like built-in Twitter and Messages sharing is as “native” as Google will go on iOS.
Engadget's video may be fake, but I think it's safe to assume Google is considering Google Now for iOS. Code references were spotted in Google's Chrome browser and OS, and iOS seems like a logical step considering the nature of the product. Giving the “right information at the right time” is meant for mobile devices – phones and tablets that tend to be always with us.
It used to be that Android was the platform for Google users, but I'd argue that Google has been narrowing the gap between iOS and Android in the past months. With Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Search, and (allegedly) Google Now, Google has been building a solid ecosystem inside iOS, and, as a user, I see that as a “best of both worlds” scenario: I can use (what I believe are) Apple's superior devices, user experience, and third-party ecosystem with (what I believe are) Google's superior web services.