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Google adding voice-powered Q&A to iOS app (w/ video)

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Google adding voice-powered Q&A to iOS app (w/ video)
Anyone who has  had the pleasure of using Android Jelly Bean has probably given Google's new voice search, which is built into Google Now, a try. Voice search in Jelly Bean has been updated to accommodate more question-and-answer style and natural language queries, which is exactly what Apple's Siri offers. We didn't expect Google to bring Google Now to iOS, but at the least it is bringing better responses to Q&A style queries. 

The Google Search app on iOS has had voice input as an option for a while now, but it has only been used to initiate Google searches, which isn't surprising given the name of the app. But, according to Scott Huffman, the Engineering Director of Mobile at Google, there is a new update that has been submitted to Apple for approval which will add support for Q&A style queries to the app. This will be adding a lot more support for search answers that would be found on a Google Now card. So, you can ask "When is my flight?" or "What was the score of the Mets game last night?" and the app will return the correct answer. 

And, judging from the promo video that Google has already whipped up, it's looking good. It also seems to add in the instant transcription of dictation to the app, which is a pretty nice feature. In fact, it looks like Google has put almost everything from the Google Now experience into this update, except for the magic juice of intelligent push

Google is hoping that the update is approved within the next couple weeks, at which point it will be released into the App Store. Of course, we'll keep an eye out so you don't have to. 

*Update* According to Amit Singh, VP of Enterprise, the update should be in the App Store "in a couple days".

source: The Next Web

27 Comments
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posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:07 8

1. mas11 (Posts: 1025; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


They better do this for ICS!

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:31

7. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5538; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


i decided to just flash it with Google Now.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 17:38 4

15. mas11 (Posts: 1025; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


I just did that too and it's tons of fun.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 19:43 1

22. MeoCao (unregistered)


In Android Google Voice Search is a feature of the OS and not a stand alone app therefore you need to upgrade to JB to get the feature. And Google want to use such features like Google Now to push manufacturers and carriers to upgrade devices to JB.

The situation was the same when Google maps and YouTube were features of iOS. There were no upgrade possible b-c that did not depend on Google.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 23:35 2

25. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


I dont think its a matter of caring for iOS. Actually the complete opposite. iOS has been slowly trying to get rid of google's integrated features to iOS, for example Maps, Youtube, and the word "google' in general.

Google is clearly trying to hold some ground in iOS since it depends on iOS for mobile traffic through their servers.

After seeing this feature, you can bet anything someone is working on a JailBreak feature to replace Siri an use Google Now instead.

Mark my words, we will see a youtube video on PA with the jailbreak hack soon ;)

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:09 10

2. Savage (unregistered)


I won't expect Apple to approve this as it 'duplicates iOS experience' but let's see.
And this shows Google actually cares about iOS. They ain't even put this feature on ICS

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:17

5. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


it has always been this way...

tech websites just spin it in a way to get people like you hyped to hate the other side...

apple always worked with google. all of google services are free apps in the app store... the problem is the google features that are embedded in iOS never receive updates because they are not "stand alone" apps like on android...

its not always WAR like everyone here wants it to be...

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 14:06 1

9. Savage (unregistered)


This is gonna change soon as the embedded Google apps from iOS are going to be put in the App Store for updates.

I'm just contemplating the if's - Whether Apple give this app the green light or no.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:18 1

6. Aeires (unregistered)


I don't see this ever getting approved for that same reason. Best thing that can happen is iOS users get wind and give Apple flack over not having that ability.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 14:27 1

10. Savage (unregistered)


Oh my. The update said release coming in a couple of days. It means Apple approved? That is good news for iOS users as they themselves can use and see which voice assistant is better.
Now only if Google provided this for all androids...

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:13 1

3. Roomaku (Posts: 278; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


This is pretty cool, I mean if someone wanted to pick up an iPhone 4 and use Google instead of siri they could! Or they could always get an Android, assuming they get this around the same time...

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 15:15 4

11. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


iPhone 4 doesn't have Siri... remember... it isn't "powerful" enough to handle it.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 15:22

12. Roomaku (Posts: 278; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


Yeah that's what Im saying. That means they could skip the 4S

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 16:53

14. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


olp.... gotcha!

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 18:24

17. mas11 (Posts: 1025; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


Haha everyone knows it is powerful enough because some pple have jail-broken their iPhone 4 and used Siri on it but Apple just wants to make more $$$.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 18:30

18. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Yeah but the problem with Apple's servers not accepting other phones and whatnot is a real hassle.
I truely don't understand why the google "voice serach" app doesn't talk back or really hasn't been changed from 3 years back.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:15 5

4. bohdan4ik13 (Posts: 81; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


No, they better do this for all Android smartphones with internet connection and on more than one language

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 13:52 1

8. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid (Posts: 120; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


Google is one s**t company. It's gonna be available for iOS users but not for ALL Android users or even ICS users. Google Inc, YOU SUCK :@ :@.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 17:50 2

16. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


Take a step away from the computer.

Its going to be OK. I promise...

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 19:47

23. MeoCao (unregistered)


In Android Google Voice Search is a feature of the OS and not a stand alone app therefore you need to upgrade to JB to get the feature. And Google want to use such features like Google Now to push manufacturers and carriers to upgrade devices to JB.

The situation was the same when Google maps and YouTube were features of iOS. There were no upgrade possible b-c that did not depend on Google.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 16:44

13. RapidCat (Posts: 351; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)


this is good, google thinking to stop people buying the 4s or next iPhone

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 18:35

19. mthomas2953 (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


Google some things needs to stay proprietary to Google and Android. Its what breeds brand loyalty and ownership. Stop kissing Apple's ass and let us Android and Nexus owners believe that you are on our team and have our backs. Stop depending on the "Dev" community's to tote your weight or to coverup you alls sidesteps or missteps. There is no reason whatsoever that ICS Users should not have an easy OTA update to Google Now from Google. This is completely unacceptable behavior from Google. Search is "Google's" bread and butter but damn why can't you all think about your Android and Nexus owners first before you think about your pocket books. This is like a slap in the face for us Google Nexus and Android owners. Apple is phasing out Google native applications slowly but surely and y'all still wish to cater to them. WOW

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 18:47

20. Klamba92 (Posts: 195; Member since: 25 Jun 2012)


I understand what you mean but haven't the nexus phones got the jelly bean update i was under the impression they have? However it also shows that Google has no grudge against iOS they don't mind creating a brilliant experience to everyone, android or not i'm sure windows phone will get it if Microsoft allow it? But if you can root or have a rooted device you can get it too. I want to get it but even though i know how to root i'm scared i might brick my new Galaxy S3 and don't want to lose some touchwiz features maybe later though.

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 23:49

26. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)


google gets more money from ios so obviously google will prefer ios to android for making apps, google has open sourced android so they don't earn money from it....this new app is also said to have a more polished look than the one on android JB, google said that they will give JB version the same look after 2 months or so...........google would like to make more apps to apple to make money from it, android already belongs to google so they won't need to push everything into the older os versions to make money, infact, they also need to keep this app exclusive to JB to promote it..........google open sourced android so that they could have google apps and services on it, not because they are gonna get money for android, they earn most of their revenue from google search, they just can't sacrifice their multi billion dollar search engine for the open sourced android

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 19:40

21. Paradox (Posts: 123; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


Wait a go google. Now how am I meant to show off google now to people using iphones? :( (yes, I know it's not the full google now, but it's the voice bit that impresses people)

posted on 08 Aug 2012, 20:53

24. rudlie (Posts: 182; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


this is all what I mean at article "Is Apple's war against Google hurting iOS" from Michael Heller. I hear some wound voices from android user about Google voice search. Is this termonuclear for apple or android. user always get some advantages of this Apple-Google war. why some people act this is a versy complicated problem? well, I don't see any problem by removing some google apps on iOS because I believe Google also don't want to loose contact to every users.

posted on 09 Aug 2012, 13:58

27. JunitoNH (Posts: 834; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Google is in no hurry to update anything Android, they know folks are going to buy the devices. You have remember this after all, is a business. Android is the poor stepchild of the family. Google makes twice as much from iOS devices, than Android, so obviously, their goals is to keep the other platforms happy. There is more money to be made in the Apple app store, also. So why would they cater to their OS base?

http://www.talkandroid.com/104913-love-thy-enemy-google-makes-more-money-from-ios-than-android/

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