Google Now launched on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean last year, however it was never clear whether the service would make it to the iPhone. Some hints were dropped about its existence by Google’s Eric Schmidt, and a leaked video made it seem like Google Now was almost ready for release.
The wait is over, but rather than be released as a standalone app, Google Now has been integrated into version 3.0 of Google’s search app for iOS. If you’re not familiar with Google Now, it uses all the tools available to it to provide information, suggestions and updates relevant to your location, activities and appointments.
Information is displayed on cards, with 22 of the 29 cards available on Android making their way across to iOS. This includes travel information, journey times, weather reports, local details such as currency conversions, plus sporting results, cinema times and plenty more. According to The Verge, Fandango and boarding passes for airlines are among those which can’t be found, and iOS’s Google Now will only integrate with Google’s calendar rather than the local iPhone version.
To do all this, Google needs to watch your location, calendars, emails and search information, which means you have to be happy to give Google a lot of access to your life. Like Android, you can swipe cards away when you’re done, and the gesture for showing the cards inside the app is very swish. It does take a while for Google Now to start showing relevant results, but once it does, it works very well.