The official Google Search app for iOS is set to receive an update that’ll add enhanced voice search capabilities strikingly similar to Apple’s Siri and Google’s own Google Now service.
Already available on Android for several weeks now, the update will soon land on the App Store, enabling iFans to simply ask questions to have them answered. For example: what’s the weather in X location or where’s the nearest sushi place in the area.
The Google Search app already supports voice search, but it’s closer to a speech-to-text recognition feature than an intelligent personal assistant Siri or the recently launched Google Now.
The new voice search sports an interface strikingly similar to Google Now. Although it doesn’t have the snazzy card-style interface of Google Now, results are intuitively presented without requiring you to ever leave the app.
There’s a microphone icon at the bottom, which lets you speak out your query. Results are displayed in the same screen with a nifty bit of animation.
Google said in a blog post: “You just need to tap the microphone icon and ask your question, the same way you’d ask a friend. For example, ask “What movies are playing this weekend?” and you’ll see your words streamed back to you quickly as you speak. Then Google will show you a list of the latest movies in theatres near you, with schedules and even trailers.
“It works for everything from celebrity factoids to the height of Kilimanjaro and more. When Google can supply a direct answer to your question, you’ll get a spoken response too.”
Obviously this is still a voice search app, meaning it won’t be able to do some of the advanced tasks Siri can perform, such as call people or set calendar entries. However, we hope and foresee Google will eventually add the ability to send emails using Gmail, create events on Calendar and so forth.