New Google Search app for iOS takes humble approach to best phone question


Apple fans were treated to a new Google Search experience yesterday, one that not only brings an Android 4.1-like card system to results but also features voice input, much to the chagrin of the digital personal assistant Siri. Unlike Siri, however, Google Search takes a humble approach to answering one of the biggest debates between Android and iPhone users.

Depending on how the question was posited, when asked, “What’s the best smartphone?” Siri would either respond with a list of handsets based on Best Buy user ratings or suggest that the iPhone was superior. The former response was particularly embarrassing for Apple, as Siri’s answer did not place the iPhone at the top.

With Google’s new voice search for iOS, a less straight forward answer is given, responding with such phrases as “No one phone is right for everyone,” and You’ll have to decide for yourself.” The answers both take a higher-road type approach as well as slyly avoid mentioning the iPhone. After all, not saying the iPhone is the best in some way, at least, suggests that it isn’t.

For iPhone users, the new Google Search gives them a taste of what they are missing with the latest builds of Android. Will it win over any converts? We’re guessing not as many as the removal of Google Maps from the latest iOS build did.

[SearchEngineLand via iSource]

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  1. i tested last night on my i5, very smooth and accurate than on my gnexus google now. i wish it got cantonese reading it out loud like siri does.

  2. Meanwhile 95% of Android phones don’t have this because Google won’t update their search app. This is unreal.

    Google has slapped users in the face between this, and not selling the Nexus 4 to over half the US population by not making a CDMA / LTE version like Apple does.

    I’m really re-evaluating my love of Android.

    1. Well, lets be fair. Google has been promptly updating things on their end. Its phone manufacturers who need to push out updates to the phones they produce. Not Google.

      1. They could push out google now as an app in the play store?

        1. It would only work on 4.x or higher, and it’s kinda wonky on non-stock Android devices. I’ve used it on a TouchWiz ROM. Unh unh. Never again. LoL!! Runs fine on CM9 for E4GT. So…?

          I mean, if you want you can side-load it.

        2. It works just fine on stock android. The OEMs bloatware (TouchWiz, Sense, Blur, etc) makes it incompatible. If you want it on GB, then maybe you need to upgrade your phone to an ICS compatible one. Hell, I even ran ICS on my DX with a locked bootloader. It’s the nature of technology. You have to upgrade often to get the latest and greatest.

          1. You win the prize for being today’s Phandroid troll.

    2. it shouldn’t sway your love for Android, but enhance your anger towards Verizon for their proprietary LTE standard. We have no idea (and probably never will) know the real reason behind this decision.

      And if one feature aggravates you this much, take a breath, and wait a few days til the devs can get a hold of it. :)

      1. *clears throat* You mean their CDMA or 3G service. Their LTE is regulated by the FCC and they were told that they can’t have any restrictions with it. However, their 3G service isn’t regulated. So a phone would have to meet their 3G service requirements, not their LTE requirements. This is where the loop hole is.

        And Google Now has been out for stock-Android on ICS for quite sometime. So I don’t know what he’s complaining about. LoL!! They even have a TouchWiz version available. LoL!! Side-loading of course.

        1. agreed….but the FCC is US based. In one of those interviews about Nexus 4, someone at Google mentioned LTE’s incompability (or maybe it was CDMA) for the rest of the world as one of the determining factors for a GSM only release (at least at this point).

          1. I remember reading about how LTE was in such a small market that there was no point. The Nexus devices don’t sell enough for them to make a mix breed like that.

          2. i just find it funny when the iphone didnt have 4G or LTE Android users held it over their heads touting it as the best thing since sliced bread. Bragging and mocking iPhone users.
            Now the iPhone has it and the Nexus 4 doesnt and now its no big deal or no point in it anymore….. lmmfao

          3. It was the CDMA compatibility. This is just Google refusing to give in to Verizon’s BS network demands. The nexus is not going to harm their network like they claim. They just want control over software, so they can add all the crapware to it first. Once we get VOLTE and cdma goes away, then maybe we will get a Nexus on Verizon again. Until then, deal with not having a Nexus so you can have the best network. It’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make. My SGS3 is just as good as any nexus anyway.

          4. i have a verizon galaxy nexus and it works awesome on custom ROMs. i’m not too found of the size or shape, but willing to compromise on carrier and hardware to keep my unlimited data plan. if they decide to end it, i’ll probably jump to ATT for the Nexus 4 so that my wife and i can save money (and not be tied to a contract).

      2. When Google Now was announced and I had to look at my MT4G, I knew it was time to upgrade (though I ran on custom ROM’s for a while before that). That one feature prevented me from giving WP7 a try and potentially losing me.

        TO be clear, I didn’t dislike Android but I liked what i saw in WP7 enough to want to try it. Then 4.1 blew me away.

    3. Not Google’s fault. Blame the carriers and OEMs.

      1. He was talking about updating the search app, that has nothing to do with a Full OS update


          1. so that means that these performance improvements were already built into iOS? So that is you admitting that my ICS Evo LTE is not as up the date performance wise as an iphone 4s? Well that sucks.I suppose android is still a year behind iOS then.

        2. What don’t you get? It is the OEMs fault as they overlay Android with their own version that ruins the compatibility. It is their fault Google Now doesn’t work on their devices due to this fact……get it?

          1. Sigh what don’t you get. RELEASE AN APP IN THE PLAY STORE. If I can download chrome no matter what is then you can build an app for this in the play store skin independent. Not referring to stock OS updates referring to a standalone app.

          2. Hahahahaha……if you yell louder, your ignorance on the subject may go away. They want Google Now integrated into the OS, that is their choice. Skins prevent this from happening. I understand the point that they did it for iOS, so why not for Android. My answer, is do you know for sure the one for iOS isn’t dependent on specific OS code? Meaning……you want them to make a stand alone app for each overlay? Hahahaha……don’t count on it. You can just wait for the OEM to adapt it to their overlay. If you don’t want to wait…….unlock, root, and and install an AOSP ROM. Otherwise, go complain to your OEM, not Google.

          3. Lol i only obviously integrated into the OS for the new phones is ideal, but a standalone app for those older OS’s sounds pretty ideal to me as well. You perhaps, arent getting what i am saying. They have plenty of voice assistsants in the app market that can bypass OEM skins. Vlingo, and a couple of others. Why cant they release a Google Now App in the play store similar to the way the Vlingo app is coded. Dont just say “uh SKINS bro the skins” That’s not a proper response because there are a million of apps that work, voice apps as well, in the playstore. No i do not nore for sure that the one for iOS might require a specific OS code, but no one here knows for sure that it does. I was saying it would be a good investment and a way to bypass the lateness of updates if certain features could be released as apps. If they cant ok then, but dont tell me they cant when you personally have no idea, especially when very similar less capable apps already exist.

            I’m not complaining to google, im not even complaining to HTC about my Evo LTE not having jelly bean yet. I do not root because i do not like my phone randomly freezing and restarting in the worst possible times like when im using my navigation. Im not even complaining to Google. I’d buy a nexus 4 if they released it on sprint with LTE, but since they didnt then thats out of the question. I’m not crying about anything, i’m was just further explaining that there are other options worth exploring that are potentially unexplored. Releasing certain features as stand alone apps would be a HUGE hit and would quiet a lot of the fragmentation rumblings and other complaints. Maybe its not doable( i dont see why it wouldnt) but maybe it is doable and it just requires an annoying step google doesn’t feel like doing. Then my friends, that is something they should suck up and do to support android users. Unless they really want everyone to use a Nexus. And if that’s the case then they need to start marketing.

          4. If Google can make a standalone search app like this with Google Now functionality for Apple, then they can do it for 99% of Android users that don’t have Gingerbread, just like their existing and now sucking Google Search app in the Google Play store…

    4. Nexus 4 won’t come in a CDMA/LTE option? If that’s true I’m gonna be disappointed. Wife and I are switching to Verizon in a little over a month and I was going to get the Nexus 4 for her. I need to check this out.

      1. just go to tmobile they will have it with unlimited data

        1. we are actually leaving tmobile. i cant deal with the lack of coverage anymore as we travel a lot. tmobile also sucks in heavily populated condensed areas such as sporting events.

      2. If you planned on getting a Nexus device to get fast updates then don’t go to Verizon or Sprint. They regulate if the device will meet their standards, thus making the update take longer to come to their phone. It took Verizon customers about 3 months to get their update for their Galaxy Nexus. This is why Google isn’t making an LTE version. The point of a Nexus device is to get fast updates, but if carriers aren’t going to comply with that, why should they make it for their service?

        Sorry to say, but yea. This is true. It’s not coming to any LTE service.

        1. how is the iPhone able to release an update, then everyone on verizon or anywhere else, install the update on the same day?

        2. :(

    5. Do you really want the Nexus 4? I mean nobody was liking what they were saying about it. No external memory, low phone memory, no removable battery, huge bezel, blah blah. Google even sees the Nexus 4 as more of a failure than the rest. If it had LTE, do you think people still would have wanted it? Max storage being 16GB? Uh no…

      Also, 95% of Android phones aren’t stock. I have a stock ROM and I can side-load Google Now perfectly. However, when I had a TouchWiz ROM, it didn’t work so well.

      And the only thing you’re missing is voice search with talking back to you. It’s Google Now without the cards. You can get this on a TouchWiz device via S-Voice. So…?

      1. the Nexus4 has barely no bezel on the left and right side of the screen, while it has no removable battery, its still a big leap from the battery the galaxy nexus had. also the RAM memory is doubled (it isn’t low), and the internal 16GB memory is equivalent to the previous nexus phone, so its the same. and the external memory is the same as the previous nexus phone, but it still has improvements like camera, and wireless charging.

  3. I like the, “No one phone is right for everyone.” response. Google should have expanded that by adding, “That is why Android devices come in a wide variety of options.”

    1. Sorta of like what apple did in their apology to samsung?

      1. But it is true. I mean A reason I won’t get the iPhone is because I prefer a physical keyboard. How many times have I typed “Tue” over the”; “nit” over “not”? Those are just a few examples. And do you think a software keyboard will correct a correct word? Swift Key does, but I don’t lyk the way it spaces my words.

        I mean, Apple stated that Samsung still copied them, and that the judge didn’t recognize what they did. Google would be saying that there is an Android device for everyone.

        Though, I can understand what you’re trying to say.

        1. In every single one of your posts your spelling LIKE wrong!

          1. You are spelling “you’re” wrong.

          2. @facebook-710725095:disqus Uh, you’re wrong my friend. It’s your, not you’re. :)

          3. That was purely accidental. It’s not like I spell like, “lyk” to try and appear relevant and kool.

    2. Nope, the short, sweet and unbiased way is a lot more classy. Kudos to Google.

  4. Pretty effed up that even the biggest competitor to android gets some of the newest technology before those that actually have android

    1. Blame the carriers and OEMs.

      1. He’s talking in regards to them getting the App before other Android users, that has nothing to do with Carriers and OEMs unless you’re suggesting the other 98.2% of Android smartphones get 4.1 updates for this one search feature.

        1. Actually, wouldn’t it be the OEM’s fault? The app is perfectly side-loadable on stock ICS Android. I have it on my E4GT. When I had a TouchWiz ICS ROM, it was pretty wonky. So…?

        2. This

          1. IS SPARTA!!!

          2. Lmao good 1

    2. I have to agree with you here. I can’t believe that this is an Android 4.1 requirement when Big G built an app for it to run on iOS. Why not build the same App for Gingerbread+? It doesn’t have to be the full featured Google Now thats on 4.1 but it’s better than nothing, even if it is the OEM’s fault that no updates are coming. It reassures Android users that Android is worth having. Putting it on iOS like this is just a slap in the face.

      1. It is. But u have to remember googles bread and butter is search. Clearly they r showing they care more about getting Google now voice search to the largest group of cellphone users they can and thats iPhone users. Maybe now they will look at smaller groups of users such as people on older android versions. It sucks

        1. Yeah then they could cater for the 99% of Android users not on Jellybean that use Google Search…

      2. You have to remember that phones running Gingerbread+ are not all capable of running ICS thus the reason they are not implementing such features. Its a hardware issue not lack of updates.

        1. My fascinate which is two years old has jb on it. So not being capable is nonsense. Its whether or not they get the updates they should.

    3. That’s why you buy phones that you know will have the latest versions quickly. Not rocket science. Highly doubt that free-on-contract phone is going to have much backing.

      1. What are you talking about?? No one said anything about any kind of phone its not about how high end or low end the device is, it’s about Google providing a service to the competition that everyone on this side has been clamoring for, even if it’s not the full blown Google now, this would still be pretty nice to have.

  5. Take your iPhone and leave that would be great thanks

  6. Is it just me? On Galaxy Nexus I don’t have a voice response when asking this question. Kind of looks like Google Now is better on iPhone. So of course it wants to be impartial. I’m a bit pissed by this. Someone set me straight.



    2. Um… I understand your question and concern, but do know that it’s not Google Now on iOS. It’s just an updated Google Search. Not to be picky, just thought you know the difference so you don’t go around saying, “iOS has a better Google Now”. LoL!!

      Google Now involves using your information to display cards that show the weather, package information, sports, etc. This information is tailored to you and your life. Also it’s Android specific.

      iOS gets search with card results and voice responses. The cards don’t come on their own and they don’t get updated information of any kind.

      1. He meant Google Search, I’m sure he knows what Google Now is. It’s a bit condescending to explain the whole bit, no? The question remains why is the “Google Search” on iOS yielding this voice response to the question and not on Android.

      2. Yes I know the difference between push and pull. Still you are all missing my point. I don’t get a voice response when I do voice search for the best smartphone on Galaxy Nexus. I get other voice responses but not for this specific search.

  7. How is your apple maps? You jerkoff

  8. why the hell does it look better on iOS?? (design wise)

    1. um, it doesn’t

      1. yes it does. and it animates better too.

        1. We can agree to disagree then. I have it on my gs3 and on my iPhone 4 and I Disagree with you.

  9. Apple could learn a thing or two from Google.

    I do note the double entendre that the statement, “No one phone is right for everyone” is, however.

  10. I don’t really have a preference for one ecosystem over the other, but when will google search be able to launch apps? A very convenient option while I am driving with my iPhone.

    1. You can blame apple for that one

      1. Blame them for what?

        1. THe dumbed down sear features of google now becuase apparently the have a patent on searching for apps. which would be needed for auching apps would it not? I would not be surprised if apple had a patent for launching apps by voice

    2. Wait!! I’m confused!! Are you saying the Google Search on iOS needs to open apps? Or Google search on Android needs to open apps?

      Are you also saying you already have that with another app? LoL!! =.P

      1. What I am saying is that Siri can launch apps by voice. This is very convenient while driving.

    3. It will be available on android 4.2 (jellybean)

  11. as a business strategy, wouldn’t it be a bad idea to give you’re competitors some of the best features of your high end products?

    doesn’t it make it more difficult to get an iphone user to switch to an android phone if they can get things like this on the iphone anyway? i know google is all about “don’t be evil”, but it seems like they should start restricting some of these services to android only.

    1. Google is a search company first and foremost. If you are a search company why wouldn’t you want your search app on the iPhone?

    2. You are apparently clueless as to how Google makes their money. Check out where there revenue comes from and then ask yourself the question again. I bet you come up with a different conclusion. Hint: They don’t make crap off of android itself.

  12. How come when i ask Google Now on my Android i receive no spoken response?

    1. Some responses aren’t spoken. Ask, “What time is it?” as a test. That should give you a spoken response.

      1. He knows that. This specific question doesn’t come with voice response on Galaxy Nexus but does on iOS. That’s a big problem.

  13. Don’t be Evil – Just be Better!

  14. to be quite honest, i really doubt google did this search app out of the kindness of its heart. i bet that apple offered a pretty hefty sum to have something like this on their ecosystem when suri is supposed to be the be all voice search. i wonder how much $$$$ apple shelled for this.

    1. Why would apple pay anything for this? Siri is more than capable of handling voice functions.

  15. that pissed me off why can’t android phones other than jelly bean have it?

  16. This would be great if JB ran on more than 4 phones.

  17. I’m pissed at the fact that this sample video can’t be done on my stock Jelly Bean Galaxy Nexus GSM phone. I ask the question and I get web results for my search without any voice telling me anything. What’s up with that. Thus making the iPhone better at something because of Googles help.

  18. Google is pure class.

  19. When did people start using the word “convert”? Someone called me that the other day and I looked it up to make sure but I do not see how it describes me.

  20. Yes, I agree that no phone is right for everyone. However, with the best app to use on the phone it could really make a difference. For instance, there’s a smartphone app called Talkler —billed as “email for your ears.” Talkler is a free smartphone app that’s voice-controlled, and reads your emails aloud to you. Works perfectly well for me!

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