Google continues to push its predictive search technology, known as Google Now, as the heart of its search experience.
The Google Search app has long since been revamped as a showcase for Google Now cards, but the iOS app was not playing with a full deck until now. A big update adds new cards, notifications, voice triggers, and more to the Search app.
Google Now as a platform leverages all the data Google has connected to your account. It will integrate calendar appointments, weather forecasts, stocks, directions, news, and more without you even asking. There is a creepy factor, but it's amazingly useful once you get used to it.
This update adds support to iOS for a few new cards including concert tickets and boarding passes. It pulls this data right out of your email automatically and presents it in Google Now as a card. There is also support for reminders in Google Now for iOS. Simply initiate a voice search and tell Google to remind you to do something at some point in time. You can be vague, and Google takes its best guess.
That reminder leads us to two more new features in the iOS version of Google Now - notifications hands-free voice.
You can trigger Google voice search from in the app by saying "Ok Google," which is handy. This gives you access to a lot of natural language queries and Google knowledge graph content. You can also use it to set up a reminder. Those reminders, and anything else Google thinks is particularly important, can be pushed to you as a notification. It might tell you when you need to leave for an appointment, or when you were supposed to get something done.
This update brings the iOS app almost up to the same level as the Android version. It's a bit easier to access on Android, but Google can also integrate with more parts of the system going forward, as it has done in Android 4.4. KitKat. Still, this is a solid update for iOS users.
Yes, you can still do an old fashioned text search too.