After Apple’s failed attempt at a proprietary Maps app for iOS, Google came along and redefined the ‘navigation app’ marketplace with a freshly designed version of Google Maps. Unsatisfied with that, the search giants once again seem intent on outperforming Apple’s Siri with their own personal assistant; Google Now for iOS.
Google Now vs Siri
So what’s the key difference between them? With Siri, you need to make the query yourself in order to get an answer. Google Now on the other hand uses the information it already has about you, including previous search data and location services for example – to predict the information you want before you know you want it; like traffic times & routes for your journey home for example.
Google Now for iOS: How it works
Accessible with a single upward swipe, Google Now for iOS reveals “cards” that are based on your experiences with other Google-based services like Maps, Calendar and Search. The result of this is anticipated, personalised and real-time information; all before you’ve even asked for it.
The really interesting part about this app, is it’s ability to “get to know you”, since the more you use it, the more tailored the cards will be. If for example you regularly search for your favorite sports team, Google Now will display a card with the latest results for your team.
The Multi-Platform Debate
There have been a few criticisms about taking Google Now to iOS. The primary argument being that iOS users now have fewer excuses than ever to move to Android devices since Google software is being made readily available on the rival platform. Being an iOS user myself, I have to agree. Google applications like Google Drive, Maps, Google+, Youtube and Gmail all play an integral part in my day to day routine, and the availability of those applications on iOS devices will offer users (like me) the best of both worlds without needing to change platforms.
I’ve only just downloaded the app today and already like it. It has a clean and simple interface that integrates Google’s top class search tools with a personal assistant that will only get smarter as I use it. That makes me wonder, will I end up using Siri again?
As far as personal assistants go, Siri will probably continue to be useful for accessing media located in the device in an instant. After all, why search for a song when you can ask Siri to do the work for me? Making calls, sending messages and setting reminders will also continue to be Siri’s job. On the other hand, it’s fair to say that navigational, geographical and personally tailored information based on previous searches will be where Google Now will excel. Either way, I intend to write up a separate article based on the effectiveness of Google Now’s personalisation so stay tuned by following the blog.
As with many apps on our phones these days, I think each will have it’s own use.