Google Now for iOS just got a whole lot better, brought in line with Android

Google Search app for iOS updated

Google Search with Google Now iOS app

Google has released an update for the Google Search iOS app that adds a bushel of features, ones that should look familiar to users of Android's Google Now suite.

The iOS Google Search app has long been more than a simple app for discovering things on the web, but today its Google Now features were brought even closer to the full-blown Android experience.

In version 3.1.0, the biggest improvement comes in the ability to initiate a Google search by saying the words, "OK Google" (on iPhone 4S and later), a much-hyped, hands-free feature on Android.

OK Google, tell me more

That's not all, of course; the updated app now features reminders and push notifications along with new types of Google Now cards.

The new cards include helpful slides with information concerning everything from event tickets and boarding passes to car rental reservations and train schedules.

The Google Search app with Google Now app can notify users automatically when it's time to leave for an appointment, if a flight is running late, or when the last train home is leaving.

You can also verbally ask the app to give you reminders; because it was designed to intuitively to understand your commands, it should notify you at the right time and/or place.

Examples given are "Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks" and "Remind me to check out the fair this weekend." The iOS Google Search app can now understand these requests and will display reminders when it detects you're at a coffee shop or when the weekend arrives.

You can also press a "remind me" button from Google search to be notified when new episodes of a show air, when your favorite musicians put out new albums, when actors you like star in new films, when certain politicians make headlines and much more.

And it still does search

On top of all that, it seems searching with the iOS Google Search app has been improved as well. Shocker, we know.

Google Search now features "a redesigned and simplified homepage," new gestures to interact with images, improved voiceover accessibility and one-touch sign-in if you use other Google apps on your device.

Overall, the new iOS app sounds like a big improvement, but only time and testing will tell whether all of these impressive-sounding features function in practice for users.