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Google Now for iOS updated with notifications, reminders, improved voice search

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Google on Tuesday pushed an update to the Google Search app, bringing formerly Android-only features like handsfree "OK, Google" voice search to the iOS variant of the company's Google Now digital life assistant.

Google Search app update


Notifications receive top billing in the update and add a welcome boost to Google Now's utility on Apple's platform. Rather than being forced to manually retrieve information, Google says users will be automatically notified with important, contextually-relevant updates about events and appointments.

Users can also take advantage of Google Now's Siri-like reminders functionality, though with a slightly more structured approach. Using what is functionally equivalent to dynamic saved searches, Google Now can remind users about events that are not necessarily scheduled based on a time or place, like new album releases from a favorite musician.

Handsfree support has been added via Google's now-familiar "OK, Google" voice prompt. The Google Search app constantly listens for the phrase when the app is open, and saying it will immediately initiate an interactive voice session.

Also included in the update are tweaks to the user interface, including a simplified homepage layout, as well as new information card types for boarding passes, tickets, car rental reservations, and local events. Additionally, users who have other Google apps on their iOS device can take advantage of a new single sign-on option.

The update bumps the version number to 3.1.0 and is available now as a free, 32.7-megabyte download from the App Store.
post #2 of 37
Who cares?
post #3 of 37
Nice formatting bug in the main article. It displays correctly here in the forums, but not on the mobile site. Almost the entire article is a link.

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post #4 of 37
I'd rather see them re-enable push notification on free gmail accounts, but yeah, sure Google, remove useful features people were actually using.
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post #5 of 37
I can see this being useful for Apple products that can't run Siri, like iPhone 4 and iPad 2 owners. Myself I will stick with Siri.
post #6 of 37

Just tried for fun the following questions on Google Now and Siri:

 

1. What is a distance between Mars and Jupiter?

2. How old is Vladimir Putin?

3. When did Benjamin Franklin die?

4. When was Leo Tolstoy born?

5. Solve equation x squared minus 4 equals 0.

 

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)

post #7 of 37
Where's the ios 7 update google?
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)

You get what you pay for, though some Android users think free is better.
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post #9 of 37
And it STILL uses the deprecated ios6 keyboard. Amazingly sloppy.
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Just tried for fun the following questions on Google Now and Siri:

1. What is a distance between Mars and Jupiter?
2. How old is Vladimir Putin?
3. When did Benjamin Franklin die?
4. When was Leo Tolstoy born?
5. Solve equation x squared minus 4 equals 0.

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)

Maybe it's my pronunciation (and there's little I can do to change that) but I still cannot get Siri to perform beyond very basic requests.

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post #11 of 37
cool. i will add this to the long list of google service and products i will never purchase or use.
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post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post
 

Just tried for fun the following questions on Google Now and Siri:

 

1. What is a distance between Mars and Jupiter?

2. How old is Vladimir Putin?

3. When did Benjamin Franklin die?

4. When was Leo Tolstoy born?

5. Solve equation x squared minus 4 equals 0.

 

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)

What on earth are you talking about? I just tried all of these on Google Now and they were ALL answered aloud perfectly.

 

Google Now is twice as fast as Siri since it does the speech recognition in-app as opposed to sending it to servers. It's also decidedly more accurate, and the voice responses are dramatically more natural. To me, it's really the only killer Android feature. Having it on my iPhone 5S makes me quite happy.

 

Also, having my flight information automatically show up on the day of my flight is insanely useful. I would use Google Now just for that feature.

post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Maybe it's my pronunciation (and there's little I can do to change that) but I still cannot get Siri to perform beyond very basic requests.

apple and siri were featured prominently in this week's episode of the simpsons. pretty funny, that siri.
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post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by darthW View Post

Who cares?

 

Considering that Google's apps are consistently rated high in best iOS apps and most downloaded lists, I'd venture to say that a lot of iPhone/iPad users care.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post
 

Just tried for fun the following questions on Google Now and Siri:

 

1. What is a distance between Mars and Jupiter?

2. How old is Vladimir Putin?

3. When did Benjamin Franklin die?

4. When was Leo Tolstoy born?

5. Solve equation x squared minus 4 equals 0.

 

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)

 

#1-4, Google was able to answer all of these for me with a voice answer. 

#5, totally stumped it.  I didn't even get a visual answer.

 

Strange that you and I would get such wildly different results, then again I'm convinced that AI users (and their friends) have the worst luck on the planet when it comes to Google and their products/services.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

apple and siri were featured prominently in this week's episode of the simpsons. pretty funny, that siri.

Doesn't The Simpsons call it "Mapple"?

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post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post
 

What on earth are you talking about? I just tried all of these on Google Now and they were ALL answered aloud perfectly.

 

Google Now is twice as fast as Siri since it does the speech recognition in-app as opposed to sending it to servers. It's also decidedly more accurate, and the voice responses are dramatically more natural. To me, it's really the only killer Android feature. Having it on my iPhone 5S makes me quite happy.

 

Also, having my flight information automatically show up on the day of my flight is insanely useful. I would use Google Now just for that feature.

 

Well, for the 1st question, I've got directions between places on East Coast (called Mars and Jupiter). BTW I live in California.

Google Now could not recognize Vladimir Putin and Leo Tolstoy every time I tried, needless to say it did not know what to do with the equation offering me web search results instead.

post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


You get what you pay for, though some Android users think free is better.

Isn't siri free?

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


You get what advertisers pay for, though some Android users think free is better.

Fix that for you... which also explain why google could not answer the questions, advertisers are not interested in the answer...

post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

I'd rather see them re-enable push notification on free gmail accounts, but yeah, sure Google, remove useful features people were actually using.

Just like Apple's removal of Google services, Google is removing Microsoft services. The Gmail push was using Exchange. And also, let's not forget Apple is very well known for removing useful and popular features from their software, more so than any other company that I can think of.

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post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Doesn't The Simpsons call it "Mapple"?

i believe so, when they're developing their competing products or what-not. in this episode, homer is regretting that he sold his apple stock in 2001. to buy a bowling ball. they specifically mention apple/apple stock five times and siri once.

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post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Just tried for fun the following questions on Google Now and Siri:

1. What is a distance between Mars and Jupiter?
2. How old is Vladimir Putin?
3. When did Benjamin Franklin die?
4. When was Leo Tolstoy born?
5. Solve equation x squared minus 4 equals 0.

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)

Weird. I tried the same questions and got answers for all but the algebra using Google Now.
post #22 of 37
Looks fine on my Nokia 1020 and iPad Air, what mobile device are You using?
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post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post
 

Just tried for fun the following questions on Google Now and Siri:

 

1. What is a distance between Mars and Jupiter?

2. How old is Vladimir Putin?

3. When did Benjamin Franklin die?

4. When was Leo Tolstoy born?

5. Solve equation x squared minus 4 equals 0.

 

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)

GNow answered all my questions via voice (and obviously text) except for #5. For #5 tt listed the answer to the equation on algebra.com

post #24 of 37
I just tried Google Now voice search and it answered all of the questions listed above except the last one but it gave me the link where I could find the answer and I speak with a Swiss accent, strange indeed. I still like it as it offers better web searches then Siri.
Edited by Relic - 11/5/13 at 2:08pm
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

Considering that Google's apps are consistently rated high in best iOS apps and most downloaded lists, I'd venture to say that a lot of iPhone/iPad users care.

 

Yeah I agree with that, Google apps were the first I installed on my new iPad. I had to give up my Blackberry because I am on sick leave from work so I bought a Nokia 1020. The relevance is Nokia Maps is probably the best mapping service and driving GPS I have ever used on a mobile device so I had no use for Google Maps or Apple Maps for that matter. But I did install Google Earth because lets face it, it's a cool app on the iPad, it even runs better than on a Android tablet, irony.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason98 View Post

Just tried for fun the following questions on Google Now and Siri:

1. What is a distance between Mars and Jupiter?
2. How old is Vladimir Putin?
3. When did Benjamin Franklin die?
4. When was Leo Tolstoy born?
5. Solve equation x squared minus 4 equals 0.

G. Now was able to answer only the 3rd one while Siri answered them all (1-4 with voice answer and the last 5th one only visually)
Odd...
On Google Now I get voice answers to each of the first four, and a visual for the last one.
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post #27 of 37

Google Now is cool, I say, "Siri open Google Now", then, "Okay Google", "new Haswel Processors". This is very useful.

When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post
 

What on earth are you talking about? I just tried all of these on Google Now and they were ALL answered aloud perfectly.

 

Google Now is twice as fast as Siri since it does the speech recognition in-app as opposed to sending it to servers. It's also decidedly more accurate, and the voice responses are dramatically more natural. To me, it's really the only killer Android feature. Having it on my iPhone 5S makes me quite happy.

 

Also, having my flight information automatically show up on the day of my flight is insanely useful. I would use Google Now just for that feature.

 

Google Now is remarkably fast, but in iOS7 Siri is no slouch either- the speed improvements have been massive. I just tried that list of Qs and I got perfect responses in one try, with the answer being pulled up in less than a second. Google Now may still be faster in some cases, but I would argue that speed isn't an issue anymore enough to be a differentiating factor. I'm also not sure about the "more natural" part- to be, it's the opposite, with Siri's new voice. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Just like Apple's removal of Google services, Google is removing Microsoft services. The Gmail push was using Exchange. And also, let's not forget Apple is very well known for removing useful and popular features from their software, more so than any other company that I can think of.

 

Beyond your superficial comparison, the situations are significantly and deeply different. 

 

I'm not sure any reasonable person can argue that it would have made sense for Apple to continue to reply on Google, their biggest and most direct competitor, to be in control of one of their most important and used mobile apps. Google could have demanded anything, and Apple would have absolutely no leverage to say without having a mapping solution themselves. They would have been held hostage to Google's whims (advertising and whatnot) in every single place that maps are accessed, and that would have been utterly unacceptable, not to mention irresponsible. The transition may have been painful for some, but it was ABSOLUTELY necessary, no 2 ways around it. There's absolutely no way it could have shaken out so that Apple would not be at a massive disadvantage when continuing to reply on Google for their mapping. And now, there's the best of both worlds, with a Google Maps app available which is far superior to what there was before. 

 

As for exchange, I don't see how its the same situation at all. All it does it make it impossible for people to get gmail push using the built in mail program. Using Google's iOS app is not an option for me, as it's glitchy, and just plain sluggish. 

post #29 of 37
Been looking forward to this! Now I want an iOS 7 jailbreak and Nownow or Activator from Cydia, good times ;-)
post #30 of 37
It's a nice update but I still prefer to use Siri. I just wish that Apple would let me choose which search engine I want to use for Siri.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niteflier View Post

It's a nice update but I still prefer to use Siri. I just wish that Apple would let me choose which search engine I want to use for Siri.
Many AI members assured everyone that when Siri switched to Bing that Apple would allow the user to change the default (despite that going against how Apple usually does things). That's not the case?
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

Many AI members assured everyone that when Siri switched to Bing that Apple would allow the user to change the default (despite that going against how Apple usually does things). That's not the case?

Nope.

You can tell Siri "Google (whatever)" but as default , if you don't tell it to use google, you get...bing...shudder.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Planet Blue View Post
 

Google Now is twice as fast as Siri since it does the speech recognition in-app as opposed to sending it to servers. It's also decidedly more accurate, and the voice responses are dramatically more natural. 

I think you are wrong on this one. Google performs speech recognition on its servers. They aren't investing in neural networks just to recognize cats. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429442/google-puts-its-virtual-brain-technology-to-work/?a=f


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 11/5/13 at 7:00pm
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

I think you are wrong on this one. Google performs speech recognition on its servers. They aren't investing in neural networks just to recognize cats. http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429442/google-puts-its-virtual-brain-technology-to-work/?a=f
Bit of both, the voice to text conversion is done on device, the interpretation of the text and response is done by Google servers.
You can voice dictate into any android app without Internet.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post
 

Just like Apple's removal of Google services, Google is removing Microsoft services. The Gmail push was using Exchange. And also, let's not forget Apple is very well known for removing useful and popular features from their software, more so than any other company that I can think of.

 

Beyond your superficial comparison, the situations are significantly and deeply different. 

 

I'm not sure any reasonable person can argue that it would have made sense for Apple to continue to reply on Google, their biggest and most direct competitor, to be in control of one of their most important and used mobile apps. Google could have demanded anything, and Apple would have absolutely no leverage to say without having a mapping solution themselves. They would have been held hostage to Google's whims (advertising and whatnot) in every single place that maps are accessed, and that would have been utterly unacceptable, not to mention irresponsible. The transition may have been painful for some, but it was ABSOLUTELY necessary, no 2 ways around it. There's absolutely no way it could have shaken out so that Apple would not be at a massive disadvantage when continuing to reply on Google for their mapping. And now, there's the best of both worlds, with a Google Maps app available which is far superior to what there was before. 

 

As for exchange, I don't see how its the same situation at all. All it does it make it impossible for people to get gmail push using the built in mail program. Using Google's iOS app is not an option for me, as it's glitchy, and just plain sluggish. 

Whatever. I could not care less about Maps vs Maps. My point is that Apple is just as likely to remove features as is Google and that Exchange is really ActiveSync which no one can get by from a patent standpoint. Apple pays MS for the licensing but Google decided that they only want to pay the fee for their commercial customers, not the free accounts

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post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Nope.

You can tell Siri "Google (whatever)" but as default , if you don't tell it to use google, you get...bing...shudder.

Interesting. It's widely thought that Steve Ballmer's replacement may spin off or sell both Bing and XBOX divisions (both massive money losers) at Microsoft after they take over. I'm thinking Alan Mulally (former Ford CEO) would be an excellent choice for them.

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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

I just tried Google Now voice search and it answered all of the questions listed above except the last one but it gave me the link where I could find the answer and I speak with a Swiss accent, strange indeed. I still like it as it offers better web searches then Siri.

Google Now is apparently showing off some new tricks with an update next week. The biggest one would be the ability to ask questions to narrow results!

As Google explained it say you want to send your friend Ed a text. "OK Google, send Ed a text". Problem now might be there's more than one Ed in your contacts. With the update Google Now will simply ask, "Which Ed?" then ask if you'd like to dictate your text. It will also gain search within apps too as well as launch them. No idea if it's going to be KK only for now or available to all.
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