Google Now goes live for iOS

After a promo video let the cat out of the bag last month, Google is making it official: with an update to the Google Search application, Google Now is available on iOS. Compatible with both the iPhone and iPad, the update brings almost all of Google’s information cards across from Android. The look and feel of the app is virtually identical on both platforms, a testament to Google’s newfound ability to make well-designed apps on iOS. The main differences between Android and iOS are few, mainly in that iOS can display fewer different kinds of cards. “The types of Google Now cards available are largely the same on both platforms,” says Baris Gultekin, Director of Product Management for Google Now.

Google has long said that it wants to make its services available on as many platforms as possible, but recent moves indicate that, when it comes to mobile, those platforms mainly include iOS and Android. It’s notable that Google isn’t holding back some of its best service features as Android exclusives, but Gultekin points out that Google still believes that Android offers a superior feature set for its products: “As with many Google products, Android (and Nexus devices) always give you the best Google experience, but we aim to make our services available to as many people as possible. Android offers more integration opportunities than iOS.” Even so, the number and quality of Google’s apps on iOS mean that heavy Google services users don’t have as much incentive as they once did to stick with an Android device.

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