For the last couple of years, you could argue that Google Now was a big advantage that Android had over iOS. Its predictive capabilities and speedy voice search made it much more than just another Siri rival. But with today's update to the Google Search app for iPhone and iPad, Google Now is just about as handy there as it is on Android, with new features that fill in most of the missing pieces.
Now live in the App Store, the Google Search update brings a few key upgrades. The biggest addition is push notifications. Now your iPhone or iPad will alert you to those time-sensitive Google Now cards, which you previously had to open the app to see.
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The search app also got a few new Google Now cards. You can set it to remind you when a favorite actor is in a new movie, when one of your top bands drops a new album, or when that TV show you were searching for has a new episode. But it isn't all just pop culture: the new update also fills you in on things like tickets, boarding passes, and car rental info.
Google didn't stop there, though. Today's update also adds reminders to the iOS app, which can be time-based or location-based. Siri already supports reminders, of course, but it can't hurt to have another option on your phone.
You can also now set those reminders, search the web, or ask for any other info hands-free. Google's favorite trigger phrase, "OK Google" is all you need to utter, to bring the virtual assistant to your beck and call. This only works on the iPhone, though, and you'll need the Google app to be open.
Before, Google Now on iOS was pretty handy, but it was sandboxed entirely within the app, which essentially voided some of its best features. With the new update's push notifications, though, Now can potentially be a huge part of your iPhone or iPad experience. It's one more reminder that Google doesn't care if you use an iPhone, as long as you keep using Google services.
You can hear more about the update in Google's video below.
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