Google Now personal assistant app finally arrives on Apple's iOS
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is expanding its Now personal assistant service to rival Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS mobile operating system, where it will compete head to head with Apple's own Siri voice assistant technology.
Google Now, launched in mid-2012 in association with the Android 4.1 mobile operating system update, presents a series of cards containing information on local weather, traffic, events and nightlife, each automatically generated in relation to a user's present location and the time of day. Google Now Product Manager Tamar Yehoshua told CNet the Apple version, integrated into the updated Google Search for iOS 3.0, will present a significant challenge to Siri because of the accuracy of its information: "We're giving you an answer before you've even asked," she said, adding Google is "able to predict knowledge that you want before you know you want it."
Yehoshua added that Google Now's voice recognition technology has made significant strides in recent months. "We've seen a 15 to 35 percent improvement since Jelly Bean [Android 4.1]," she said. Yehoshua declined to comment about rumored plans to port Google Now to other platforms, including Google's own Chrome desktop browser as well as Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows.
Google's mobile search business hinges on traffic from iOS devices: Based on figures provided in its patent and copyright infringement battle with Oracle as well as remarks from Google CEO Larry Page, insiders believe the iOS platform generates about 80 percent of Google's mobile advertising revenues. Google pays roughly $1 billion per year to remain the default search option on devices like the iPhone and iPad, according to analyst estimates.
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