We’re not sure why Google just doesn’t change the name of their Google Search app for iOS, as it does pretty much everything Google Now does on Android, but this new update is pretty fantastic, whatever you want to call it.
Google Search is “now” updated to version 3.1.0, with a whole new set of features, including Notifications, Reminders, new Cards, and a Siri-like Handsfree voice. This last bit lets you command your iPhone to do stuff with the phrase, “OK Google.”
How cool is that?
The notifications will deliver your info before you open the app when you need to leave for your next appointment or event, if your flight is running late, or when to get that last train home. Google uses its magic to check patterns of traffic and transit schedules to keep you up to date.
Want to be reminded of stuff? Just say, “Remind me to buy coffee and butter at Safeway,” or “Remind me to get tickets to Ender’s Game for the weekend,” and Google will remind you in the right place at the right time, similarly to location-aware Reminders in iOS.
Interestingly, you can go a bit further and ask to be reminded when all sorts of things happen, like when your favorite band releases a new album, the latest hot TV show airs a new episode, or when certain folks make headlines. It’s like a Google news alert right on your iOS device.
The new Cards help organize information like movie tickets, concerts, boarding passes, reservations, and lists of upcoming local events, like what Passbook should be.
Search, obviously, has also been improved with new gestures to zoom or delete images, as well as improved VoiceOver accessibility within the app itself.
All in all, this is a great set of functionality, and brings what Google does best–web services and search–right to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.