Readers who are fortunate enough to have spent some time using Android 4.1 Jelly Bean are familiar with the Google Now app for conducting searches. The Google Now app lets users speak a question and then get an answer spoken back to them. Basically, the app is a voice-recognition interface similar to the Siri functionality Apple shows off in their commercials for iOS devices. Google has announced that some of the functionality present in the Google Now app will be ported over to the Google Search app for iOS devices, specifically the Voice Search capabilities.
Scheduled to be available in the App Store within a couple days according to Amit Singhal, SVP Google Search, the Google Search app will run on iOS 4.2 or higher. Using their ubiquitous vanilla white interface, users can tap on the microphone icon, then speak their question. The app will return a page of search results and if the answer is fairly straightforward, will “speak” the answer. In some cases, like searches for images or videos, the app will go straight to a tab in the app showing a video or photos. The app is aware of who you are, as in “when is my flight?” will return results for you specifically. Search results can also factor in contextual and location awareness, especially useful when inquiring about locations
Google is stressing that the iOS app is not the same as the Google Now app available for Android devices. Results are not returned using “cards.” The only function being ported is the Voice Search portion of the app. Check out the video below for a demonstration of how the new app works on iOS devices.