Google is updating its Search App for iOS 7 that will bring functionality almost, but not quite, on par with the native Android version. The 3.1.0 update will feature Notifications on iOS for the first time, a feature that has kept this key Google service from being truly useful on an iOS device. Notifications will allow Google to prompt you ahead of events and items of interest that might cross your path before you open the App.
Also of note, the update will feature handsfree control, as long as you have the App running. You can say, “OK, Google” and use voice to enter a search query. In my very early testing of this version the Google Search App must be running in the foreground for this to work, and not in the background. So, now you can choose to speak to either Google or Siri on your iPhone and have them both talk back.
New cards for entertainment events, (movies, concerts, etc..), airline boarding passes, lists of local events, and letting you know when the last train leaves for home will be added, as well as support for reminders. Reminders will let you know when to leave for an appointment and can be set for specific news items such as when a celebrity or politician makes headlines.
Google has also improved its Search user interface for this iOS 7 App, now allowing gestures to “throw away” cards or zoom in.
Google Now is a key component of its Android experience and has been present on iOS devices for some time. But with iOS 7, it is obvious that Google is taking advantage of the new features in the operating system to extend its reach into iOS land.
Note that Google is promising an update for the Android version of Google Now soon, so iOS will most likely remain a few steps behind the curve.
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