The Google Search app for iPad and iOS just got a whopping big and impressive update yesterday, to Version 3.1.0.
This update brings a whole lot of new Google Now features to the app – including notifications, reminders, and ‘handsfree voice’ to issue search terms or Google Now commands. Here’s the full change list, with the long list of Google Now improvements:
Google Now gets even better with:
• Notifications – Get notified when it’s time to go
• Reminders – Never forget to put out the trash
• New cards – See tickets, boarding passes, & more
• Handsfree voice – Just say “OK Google” to search*
* requires iPhone 4s or later
Notifications deliver info before you open the app:
• When to leave for your next appointment or event
• If your flight is running late
• How to catch the last train home
Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say
• “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or
• “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend”
and Google will remind you at the right time or place.
You can also ask to be reminded when your favorite:
• Musicians release a new album
• TV show has a new episode
• Actors star in a new movie
• Celebrities and politicians make headlines
Just search and press the “remind me” button.
New cards organize the info you care about:
• Tickets for movies, concerts and events
• Boarding passes for your flights
• Reservation confirmations for car rentals
• Warnings when your last train home leaves
• Lists of upcoming local events
And finally, search is better than ever with:
• A redesigned and simplified homepage
• Gestures to zoom or throw away images
• One touch sign in if you use other Google apps
• Improved voiceover accessibility
Having spent several months using Android smartphones, I have to say Google Now runs rings round Siri. It’s just far more useful. Its voice recognition capabilities seem far superior to Siri’s, even in very noisy environments, and it is just much more capable and powerful.
It’s great seeing all these features come to the Google Search iOS app – of course what would really make it great is the ability to switch to Google Now as our default ‘voice assistant’ instead of Siri.