Google is adding a new Jelly Bean feature to the Google Search app for iPhone and iPad.
With the new Enhanced Voice Search feature, iPhone and iPad users can just press the large microphone at the bottom of the app and ask a question. Google will then respond to the question with the appropriate response. Users can ask questions like “what movies are playing near me?” or “what’s the score of the Mets game?” and receive the answers they want.
Voice Search also works with commands. Users can tell the app to show driving directions to a location and it will pull up Google Maps. A command to show a video about a particular subject will open a tab with the requested YouTube video. The app can even search for flight information.
Unfortunately, while the new app does remember users after they log in, it doesn’t offer the full functionality of Google Now. The cards of Google Now are nowhere in the app, Google holds them back for Android Jelly Bean users. It’s sad for iOS fans, but Google does need to keep some features Android-only.
Apple hasn’t approved the new app update yet, but we hope it will. The app does compete with Apple’s Siri, but so does Dragon Go!, which is already in the App Store. When the app update it available it will be great for iPhone 4 users who want some of the voice features of Siri, but not all. At least until they upgrade to the iPhone 5 which will have the enhanced Siri of iOS 6.
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