Google updates iPhone search app with changes intended to boost usage, customization

Posted:
in iPhone
Google has updated its stand-alone search app for iOS, and has shifted the focus of information presented to user away from a personal upcoming events feed, and towards a curated news and current events feed in an effort to boost user interaction with the app.




The upcoming feed integrating calendar data, travel time, and other user-specific information is still selectable by hitting the icon on the bottom right to toggle the screen. However, there does not appear to be any way to revert the app's main screen away from the news-centric feed.

As with the previous version of the app, specific points of data to track, like stocks to watch, named people or topics of interest are still customizable. Google claims that this list will become more and more tailored to the user's desires the longer that the app is used.

The overall design of the app is retained from previous versions, with the same card-based design, sporting Google's latest visual identity.

Initial AppleInsider testing of the App shows slightly slower returns of data from Google, but this may be a result of a new user profile being built with the new version of the app.

Version 21.0 of the Google Search app requires iOS 8.0 or newer, and 180 MB of storage space.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,749member
    sog35 said:
    hope I can ditch Google search some day soon.

    I want Apple to make their own search engine. The fact is 90% of iOS users use Google anyway.

    I would trust Apple with my private information much more than Google. At this point Apple isn't giving us a choice.

    Apple can create a search engine that does responsible ad selling like they do on their other platforms.
    What private information of yours is Google using without your permission, and for what? That's a totally honest question. 
    edited December 2016 wdowell
  • Reply 2 of 9
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 208member
    sog35 said:
    hope I can ditch Google search some day soon.

    I want Apple to make their own search engine. The fact is 90% of iOS users use Google anyway.

    I would trust Apple with my private information much more than Google. At this point Apple isn't giving us a choice.

    Apple can create a search engine that does responsible ad selling like they do on their other platforms.


    You could use Siri, which basically uses Bing. Perhaps yo utrust them more. Or go with others. Apple would struggle to be any near as good as google if it doesn't use some of the data from its users to understand its users, and also to encourage advertisers.

    Also, if you dont want any data minding, expect APple to charge for it. It's not free to operate a web search engine. The nearest thing we have now is SIRI, and that ,you indirectly pay for.

  • Reply 3 of 9
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,749member
    sog35 said:
    gatorguy said:
    sog35 said:
    hope I can ditch Google search some day soon.

    I want Apple to make their own search engine. The fact is 90% of iOS users use Google anyway.

    I would trust Apple with my private information much more than Google. At this point Apple isn't giving us a choice.

    Apple can create a search engine that does responsible ad selling like they do on their other platforms.
    What private information of yours is Google using without your permission, and for what? That's a totally honest question. 
    None. I opted out of everything.

    But I have a feeling they still have my information some how
    I've opted out of a few pieces of data collection too in areas that I don't see where it benefits me but opting out of EVERYTHING seems like cutting off my nose to spite my face since doing so would make their services of limited value to me, no better really that going to DDG for searches or Carbonite for photos and document storage and retrieval. Google knowing my preferences and expectations is what makes Google services overall a valued asset for me personally. I know for a fact the search results are both much faster and a lot more likely to be pertinent by simply allowing Google access to previous searches. 

    On a sidenote I suspect Apple has some information on me too, in fact I know they do, but I've been unable to find the user dashboard or whatever it would be that lays out what they at least think they know about their users. I would reasonably expect there must be some page somewhere where you can view and/or delete what they've collected (and yes as with Google with my permission) while making use of assorted Apple services, perhaps even correct inaccurate user details they may have connected to me.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 4 of 9
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    sog35 said:
    hope I can ditch Google search some day soon.

    I want Apple to make their own search engine. The fact is 90% of iOS users use Google anyway.

    I would trust Apple with my private information much more than Google. At this point Apple isn't giving us a choice.

    Apple can create a search engine that does responsible ad selling like they do on their other platforms.


    Again coming form the guy that keeps saying Apple needs to sell user information as revenue stream. Please be consistent here, are you worry about personal privacy and not monetizing personal information, or do you want Apple to do like google and make money on your personal information.

    You know why Apple ads failed, ad buyers refuse to pay unless Apple was willing to tell them who was seeing the ads and other user information that allows ad buyers to know their ad are getting in front of the right people. Advertisers will not pay unless they know more about who you are, so apple has been unable to cross this river without getting wet in the process. Google is already in the swap, and consumers are thinking twice whether they want to say in the swap with Google.

    edited December 2016
  • Reply 5 of 9
    I don't know how I feel about this. The best thing about that app, to me, is the focus on my personal stuff. I really *like* the Google Now concept.

    For me at least, making news and current event stuff front-and-center is going to cause me to use the app less, not more.

    I have other apps that I like (Apple News, Google Newsstand, Feedly) for getting my news from, and I don't really want the feed to get smarter and smarter (by which they mean more and more narrowly focused on showing me just things that match my preconceived notions or prejudices).

    This is a meh for me. Wonder how other people will receive it.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    I actually like the Apple news app. I rarely use a search engine to seek out news anymore. I am not a Facebook member but my wife is and she very much likes the Facebook news feed. I can't emphasize that enough. She has stopped browsing the web all together for her news. Facebook's live video is genius and I suspect is going to put a huge dent into YouTube. But that's another story. 

    I suspect Google is seeing a significant drop off in news content delivered by their search engine as a result of the two developments. Much like they saw a drop off in shopping using Google search after the Amazon app was released. I don't use search for much of anything meaningful anymore. 

    I go to trip adviser for travel, Amazon for shopping and digital media along with iTunes for digital media, the Apple news app for news, the IMDB app for movie and film reviews, the echo for weather reports and the list goes on. I do maybe 15% of my web activities using search these days, whereas in days past, most of everything I did was based on search. 

    Google's data mining doesn't apply to me.  I don't need them. And people are turning to the app model in droves. It is bad news for them over the long term. And likely the reason they are so desperate to find another revenue stream. 

    Improving a search function won't do anything if it isn't used. And Amazon provides far superior product search results than Google. 

    Google is becoming irrelevant. Much like Microsoft is. Because of their size, they will be around for a while. But, their products won't be anything anyone has much of a need for. 

    Google search is all about finding content. But the firms providing the content are now providing it directly. Google is in a bad place, but they brought this on themselves. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    croprcropr Posts: 944member
    sog35 said:
    I would trust Apple with my private information much more than Google. At this point Apple isn't giving us a choice.
    Very strange.  I don't trust any for profit company with my private information.  The fact is that Apple is collecting less information than Google, and I like that (although I have to pay a premium price on Apple products in return), but is does not mean that Apple is not collecting and not using any personal information.
    By the way I have not seen any evidence that Google is abusing the information it collects.
    edited December 2016 gatorguy
  • Reply 8 of 9
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,749member
    Google is screwed anyway since their Pagerank patent expires this next year and anyone will then be able to use it. Google is doomed. 
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