Google’s Search app for iPhones and iPads has just received several key updates that add valuable features and capabilities for users, including the ability to issue reminders and notifications about important events or appointments.
The new features, which also include just-in-time details for your travel itinerary, such as boarding passes that appear on your device just when they are needed, were unveiled in a Nov. 5 post by Ian Wilkinson, a Google software engineer, on the Google Inside Search Blog.
“Like many of you, I feel like I’m always short on time—between work, shuttling my son around, meeting up with friends, and dealing with everyday chores,” wrote Wilkinson. “With more and more information to manage, we could all use a little extra help to get more out of our day. With the updated Google Search app for iPhones and iPads, we hope we can save you a bit more time each day—so you can spend it on more interesting things.”
The new Search app will automatically send users a notification to alert them about real-time details about an upcoming event or appointment, wrote Wilkinson. “For example, while I was busy getting my son ready this morning, a notification appeared on my lock screen telling me that I should leave for his dentist appointment right away because of a traffic jam.”
Users can also set up reminders to themselves that will be triggered when the user is near the location of that particular task, he wrote. “So if you say ‘OK Google, remind me to mail the checks when I get home,’ you’ll get a notification as soon as your house pulls into view.”
Such reminders can be set for almost anything, including your favorite film stars, authors, bands or whatever, wrote Wilkinson. “Search for movies, albums, actors or artists, and click on ‘Remind me’—Google Now will let you know when a new movie is about to debut or your favorite band has a new album.”
Users will also see their movie tickets or boarding passes for impending flights come up using the new updated app just as it is needed, he wrote. “You no longer need to comb through email to find an upcoming flight’s boarding pass or the tickets to your next movie or concert,” wrote Wilkinson. “The updated app will simply show you a Google Now card with your tickets when you arrive at the theatre or airport.”
Another key improvement in the latest version is that users of iPhones (4S and up) and iPads (2 and up) are now able to give a verbal command, “OK Google,” to then ask any question out loud and get instant answers spoken back, according to Wilkinson.
The latest new Google Search app version can be downloaded from the Apple Store immediately, but the reminder and ‘OK Google’ voice search features are only available in English for now, he wrote.
Google made great strides with its voice search capabilities for iOS users by introducing big updates and improvements back in August 2012 after launching similar services for Android users.
In September 2013, Google also improved its voice search capabilities for users of its Chrome for iOS Web browser. The latest Chrome for iOS browser also included deeper integration with Google Apps.