Google Now went to iOS, but Google kept the best for Android

April 30, 2013
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So yesterday there was an influx of news regarding Google Now, only the assistant and smart feature made its way to Apple and iOS. To be correct, Google Now didn't go to iOS. Instead, Google Search was updated with Now features being added in. This is basically a PSA telling you all to remain calm, Google's still saving the best for Android.

It's no secret however that Google's released some pretty awesome apps lately over on iOS. Just look at their Gmail and Google+ apps for starters. Google Search on iOS is pretty decent too, and better with Now, but the experience is still more streamlined, faster, and fluid on Android.

When our sister site SlashGear spoke to Matias Duarte earlier this year it was loud and clear that Google Now is the future, and will be a "control panel" and center of all things in a way. If it's the future of Android, why are we sharing it with iOS? They get the same information as we do on Android, the card-style layout is the same, but the experience and one-touch commands are very different.

Of course we have the widget, so iOS instantly loses that awesome feature and cool factor, but it's also the way we use and interact with Now that makes it different. On Android it's a swipe, or a single tap and everything is neatly presented to us. News, weather, sports scores, traffic updates, calender reminds, you name it. With iOS the experience can be similar, but it takes a little work.

"It’s kind of a new paradigm, and one which I think does speak to the future of this very helpful type of computer interface, as opposed to the current start screens where you have to make all the choices, it’s almost like a computer control panel in a rocket ship where there’s lots of icons you have to punch-punch-punch." – Matias Duarte

The difference on iOS is you'll still have to tap a few buttons to search out and find the information you're looking for, or make the choices as Duarte said. It requires Google Search to be front and center on your dock, otherwise you'll have to search through the sea of icons for the Google Search app. Once you tap that, you'll then be in Google Search where a quick tap will let you search by voice, or swipe up to enjoy the full Google Now experience. It's nice, it's helpful, but it surely isn't presented as nice - or as fast - as we get to enjoy on Android.

Essentially on Android the information is readily available with the widget or a click, and voice search is available at any given moment on your homescreen. With iOS, you'll still have to search out and get to the information you'd like. It's a small difference, but that little bit is part of what makes Google Now so amazing and gives us that wow factor.

It's nice getting things first on Android, right? Stay tuned because Google probably has some neat stuff for Now coming soon at I/O this year too.


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  • andyclap

    Yeah, I’d love google now on my android device. Shame it’s never going to be available, as my handset is 8 months old and the manufacturer stopped at ICS.

    • Crístian Viana

      blame your manufacturer. the device I chose to buy, Galaxy Nexus (2011), is running Android 4.2.2 with Google Now.

    • http://www.androidcommunity.com Cory Gunther
    • rekem

      You know, it’s not really that they brought it to iOS that bothers me, it’s that it is available to like 95% of iPhone owners, and doesn’t even need the latest version of iOS, yet on their own OS, Google requires the latest and greatest to use it, which is only about a quarter of their user base. My feelings are mixed, though, because this could be Google’s way of prodding carriers and manufacturers into pushing Android updates, but it still hurts users, and now some of them might have it rubbed into their faces by iPhone owners who Google has no problem hooking up.

    • Nick V

      This makes me happy I went with the Nexus 4. I love Google Now, and use it all throughout the day. It is a time saver and makes a lt of what I do efficient.

    • thegodsmustbecray

      I just got the HTC One S update to Jelly Bean nearly a year later. At least I got it even though its 4.1.1 and not 4.2.2. But from now on the only Android phones I’m getting are the Nexus phones. They are the only ones who get updated on a regular basis because its Google’s brand.