Google Now and Siri. Friends or Enemies? Frenemies.

There can only be one!

There can only be one!

Didja hear?

Google Now is now available on iOS!

Aren’t you glad?


Are you saying you’re not up on Google Now?

Google’s version of the personal assistant.

Well let me disabuse you of your ignorance.

About a year ago, when Google introduced it’s intelligent personal assistant for Android , many prognosticated the end of Siri.

Although Google Now wasn’t available for iOS, it was compelling and differed starkly from Apple’s PA offering.

For one, there was no Q&A.

You didn’t have to ask Google Now anything in order to get information.

Simply dial up the app, and it presented you with multiple options, all gleaned from you.

No questions asked.

More importantly, Google Now was intelligent.

Siri is stupid.

No learning curve.

No matter how many times you ask Siri a question, she’ll never intuit that you may be asking her to repeat a function she’s performed in the past.

Dumb dumb. You make me sick.

On the flip side, Google Now takes all the information it already knows about you and serves it back to you before you’ve even thought to ask.

The more you do (within the Google suite), the smarter it becomes.

Sounds bananas right?

How the heck can it tell you something about something you haven’t even asked about?

Magic, duh!

No seriously.

Google Now is an ‘intelligent assistant’, because it learns about it’s user based on that user’s activity and their previous history in other Google applications and services.

Say you’re heading out and start searching for a restaurant, Google Now will show you theaters and night clubs around you to hit afterwards.

Are you a fan of sports? Google Now will automatically update you on the latest scores from all the NBA playoff games.

That was then.

This is now.

And the feared rivalry is no longer conjecture.

Google Now for iOS is here!

Don’t look for it in the App Store though.

It’s not a stand alone app.

It’s an update to another app, Google Search.

I’ve got the Google Search app on my iPhone.

And lo and behold! There’s an update for it.

Update the app and Google Now is front and center with a little informational video.

Google Now on the iPhone 5

Click through the navigation buttons, and Google Now walks you through the various utilitarian ways that it can help you.

From traffic alerts on your commute to work.

To flight information when you travel.

Google Now places a bunch of ‘cards’ at the bottom of the search screen, which you simply swipe up from the bottom to access.

My initial foray into Google Now served up the weather and a bunch of restaurants around the office.

There was also a card with an upcoming conference call.


I’m sure folks with more exciting lives – or who live in Google – have infinitely more exciting stuff popping off.

If you’re (justifiably) paranoid about the privacy implications of yet another Google service, rest easy.

You’ve got to authorize the app to use your personal information.

But once you do look out!

Not really.

There are a bunch of things you can do on an Android which you can’t on your iOS device.

So that clever little swipe up from the bottom of the phone to activate Google Now – deaded.

Things like Fandango, Boarding Pass, and Events are all off limits too.

Not much of a rivalry.

I doubt I’ll remember to use the search app to look for shit anyway, even though its on my device.

So I probably won’t get much out of Google Now.

But the rest of you blokes should use it and tell me what you think.

Is Google Now the right information at just the right time?

Or will this be just another unused app icon sitting on your phone?


Filed under apps, iPhone, mobile

2 responses to “Google Now and Siri. Friends or Enemies? Frenemies.

  1. Interesting stuff. While I’m an Apple fanboy, I’m just as much a Google fanboy. I absolutely love my Google products and how easily they all integrate with each other. I very seldom use Google services like Circle, Plus, etc. “Now” is no exception to that list since I hadn’t even heard of it.

    Even though I love my iDevices, I’m a jail-breaker. Love the freedom it gives me! Not to mention the shell access and other such goodies that comes with it. Also, me being a programmer decided to conjure up a program built with Node.js that is basically a Siri proxy that can extend the functionality to anything you could think of. Wanna control the lights or temperature in your house? No problem! Add a bit of home automation hardware, the Ciri proxy and magic! Maybe not as magically as Now but hey, it’s a close one.

    Back on topic, with all these competing products and services (even within parent companies), it’s not easy to stay organized. I ONLY WISH there was one ring to rule them all. But then again, you have solutions that try to implement just that idea and either fail miserably or get lost in all of THOSE competing solutions/products. *sigh*

    I really feel like Facebook hit the mark on that. Now, if only people wouldn’t be so afraid to use it. So many myths involving the Facebook EULA, Privacy, and licensing it’s not even funny. I once heard “If I authorize Facebook on this computer they can steal all my files.” HA! Uninformed banana wielding pedal frogs! Okay, that was harsh.. There is usually at least a little truth to any myth.. but still. Those problems have ceased long ago with newer Facebook policies.

    I still link most of my other accounts with my Facebook for a one click login solution, as I’m on an encrypted Mac book with a separate keychain password and such. Not unbreakable but pretty tough to spit in my food from across the globe. My ahem.. somebody I know, refuses to link ANY accounts. I would only be THAT hesitant for things that harness physical goods and transactions.

    So, who’s the next Facebook login? Maybe I’ll create a product and call it Ring. Has a nice “ring” to it wouldn’t you say? Or again, one ring to rule them all… meh.

    As usual, my long rambles shame your blog. Carry on.


    • Ramble on my brother. It’s all good.

      I am not as steeped in Google as you are. I use a host of their products, but I’m not really an aficionado of the brand, like you.

      I’m with you regarding the utility of single logins for multiple services – as long as you keep your devices safe and secure.

      But so many of the apps and sites that utilize the Facebook login, want to be able to do so many ancillary things, beyond confirming credentials, that you’re opening a Pandora’s box.


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