Google's iOS search app gets improved reminders, notifications

Those features were already in the company's Android search app

Google's updated search app on iOS, as pictured on Nov. 5, 2013.

Google's updated search app on iOS, as pictured on Nov. 5, 2013.

Google has added new features to its search app on iOS, like updated reminders and hands-free search, designed to proactively deliver information to people at certain moments.

The features include updated push notifications for things like appointments, flights and restaurant reservations; a way to set reminders by voice; a new set of "cards" to help users keep track of their tickets and boarding passes; and hands-free search activated by saying "Ok Google."

The new tools, which were announced Tuesday, bring more of the features that are already on Google's Android-based search app to iOS devices.

Providing information to people without them having to ask for it is a common theme in the new tools. With the updated push notifications, for instance, users will see an alert on their lock screen telling them they should leave soon for an appointment if there is traffic on the road. Previously, these types of notifications could only be accessed within the search app on iOS, but now they will appear more front and center on the device.

Boarding passes and tickets to events like movies and concerts will also appear automatically when users arrive at the venue or airport, as long as those passes are stored in users' Google accounts.

It's now also easier for people to set reminders on their iOS devices. With the update, the user can say, "OK Google, remind me to take a nap when I get home," and a notification will appear as soon as the person is near the house, according to the company.

There are also some new functionalities for reminders tied to entertainment like movies, albums, actors or artists. Users can click "remind me," and the app will let them know when a new movie is about to debut or an album is about to be released.

Finally, there is a new voice-enabled search mode. The search app already had a voice search button on iOS, but now users can search in the Google Now section of the app simply by saying, "OK Google." They can ask the question out loud, and get instant answers spoken back, Google said.

The update is available for the iPhone and iPad, though the "OK Google" voice search command is only available for the iPhone 4s and later models, and the iPad 2 and up.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicestelecommunicationapplicationsiosMobile OSesmobilesocial mediainternetsearch enginesmobile applicationsGoogle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?