Users of Android’s recent editions have been exposed to Google Now, the “before you know you need it” search tool.
Google Now tries to look ahead at your schedule and physical location to let you quickly access the most relevant results — traffic for your commute, flight schedules for your trips, local restaurant recommendations and the like. G-Now uses a card metaphor to pop the necessary info right onto your device screen with minimal intervention.
While Siri can handle quite a few of those search chores on iOS, she’s not exactly the anticipatory type. SRI’s recent Tempo calendar app gives you some of the same halo of savvy around your schedule, but you have to get cleared first (Tempo still has a waiting list several thousand users long). Google’s own Field Trip app delivers location-based tidbits (local art, attractions, restaurants and more) as you move around, but it’s not integrated into the main search tool.
There may be changes afoot. Engadget unearthed a promotional animated clip that seems to preview a version of Google Now for iOS; the original video appeared on YouTube and has since been removed. In style, content and narration the clip is entirely in line with Google’s original promo for the Android launch of Google Now, which lends quite a bit of weight on the authentic side of the scale.
If this clip is legitimate — and doesn’t represent a development dead end, but a real product — then it appears that Now will integrate into the existing Google search app, rather than sitting standalone. Some of Field Trip’s functionality (the nearby attractions, movies and restaurants bit) may be duplicated in Now, but it doesn’t seem likely that Field Trip would be folded back into the main search tool so rapidly after being launched.
Looking forward to the new Now? Think this is all spindrift and moonbeams? The comments await.