Google’s personal assistant service Google Now is now available on iPhone and iPads. Should Siri be scared? Nah. The two services complement each other. A quick look.

What can Google Now do? Like Siri, Google Now can process some amount of natural language queries. Tap the microphone to ask your phone, and you shall receive answers. “Do I need an umbrella this weekend?”  Google Now will recite the weather forecast to you. Say ‘Iron Man’; and Google Now will speak to you a snippet from Wikipedia. Google Now can also show you the day’s weather, or alert you on traffic. It can share news updates, and send reminders.

Google Now generates cards that appear at the bottom of the screen, with information the service thinks you may find useful. The more you use Google Now, the more these cards appear.  Cards could include calendar appointments, currency converters, time at home time zone, traffic, flight status, and so on.


Good to know:

  • Whereas Siri suggests a Web search, if it does not know what you mean, Google Now jumps straight into a Google Search with your query.  
  • If you want to use a voice-based assistant service (You do?), Siri can help you with Reminders and Calendar. Using Google Now.. have you heard ‘Remind Me’ by Brad Paisley, featuring Carrie Underwood? Try ‘Remind Me’ on Google Now.
  • Siri can help you open other applications (“Open Pages”).
  • Google Now lets you search books, news, shopping, blogs, images – the whole gamut of Google services (no Google Plus public posts yet).
  • If you have an accent, neither Siri, nor Google Now may know what you mean.
  • If you do not have an accent, neither of the services may know what you mean, unless you are John Malkovich, Martin Scorsese, or Zooey Deschanel.

Google Now for iPhone and iPad is available as part of the updated Google Search app.

[Images courtesy: Google, Apple]