The Google Search iOS app has received a huge update today that brings a number of new features including the ability to activate voice search handsfree. Users on iPhone 4S or later can now simply say “OK Google” to begin a voice search, much like what users have been able to do with Google Now on Android devices for quite some time.

Version 3.1.0 now includes notifications for upcoming events, flights and public transit. For example, the Google Search app will provide notifications for delayed flights, tell you how long you have to catch the last train, and remind you of upcoming appointments . You can also now set reminders within the app:

Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say
• “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or
• “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend”
and Google will remind you at the right time or place

In addition, Google says users can now set reminders for when their favorite musicians, tv shows, actors or celebrities are releasing new content or appear in headlines. There are also new cards in the app that display info for movie and event tickets, boarding passes, rental car reservations, public transit and upcoming events.

The massive update also includes a redesigned homepage, new gestures for zooming and moving images, one touch sign-in for other Google apps, and “improved voiceover accessibility”. It’s certainly a big update for the Google Search app that brings it closer to the Google Now equivalent at the heart of Android.

What’s New in Version 3.1.0

Google Now gets even better with:
• Notifications – Get notified when it’s time to go
• Reminders – Never forget to put out the trash
• New cards – See tickets, boarding passes, & more
• Handsfree voice – Just say “OK Google” to search*
* requires iPhone 4s or later

Notifications deliver info before you open the app:
• When to leave for your next appointment or event
• If your flight is running late
• How to catch the last train home

Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say
• “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or
• “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend”
and Google will remind you at the right time or place.

You can also ask to be reminded when your favorite:
• Musicians release a new album
• TV show has a new episode
• Actors star in a new movie
• Celebrities and politicians make headlines
Just search and press the “remind me” button.

New cards organize the info you care about:
• Tickets for movies, concerts and events
• Boarding passes for your flights
• Reservation confirmations for car rentals
• Warnings when your last train home leaves
• Lists of upcoming local events

And finally, search is better than ever with:
• A redesigned and simplified homepage
• Gestures to zoom or throw away images
• One touch sign in if you use other Google apps
• Improved voiceover accessibility

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14 Responses to “Google Search iOS app gets massive update w/ ‘OK Google’ handsfree voice search, notifications, reminders, much more”

  1. PMZanetti says:

    Ugh, Google Apps just get worse. They don’t get better.


  2. As a Chrome user on iOS, it seems a bit redundant to have the Google Search app AND Chrome? Why can’t they just make ONE app that offers all of Google’s products?


    • Because it’s an iPhone and not an Android phone. If you want the experience you are asking for then simply buy an Android phone. But I can tell you right now, I would not want to go to the app store to download Chrome only to find out I ended up downloading some bloated “omni-Google” loaded up with all their apps and services.

      That app would be huge in file size, and takes away choices and flexibility from the consumer.

      Basically, all around, that is just a bad idea.


  3. Lovin’ this update! BUT I just don’t understand why the Location Reporting setting makes the GPS indicator display as fully active instead of just Geofencing Mode; Google explains, “Location reporting doesn’t require use of the GPS. It is optimized to use cell towers and Wi-Fi to update location…”


  4. It is cool to see the ipad react to the hot phrase OK google I think bpple needs to get OK Siri and predictive features in iOS. Having said that I use siri extensively to read me my work exchange calendar appointments on my way to work, work emails, messages.s chedule appointments etc compared to that OK Google Now features seem relatively basic. Also, I use Siri mainly in the car not sure how it would work with the noise. But I think credit should be given where credit is due and I hope apple follows here.


  5. Aaron Renner says:

    Now if “OK Google” worked when the app was closed, that would be amazing. I have been dying for Goggle Now on iOS to get reminders. Siri never understands me or takes too long. Google always has perfect understanding and amazing speed.


    • Brad Doxey says:

      Here, here. No real benefit if you have to open the app, and then say “OK Google”. The button is right there most of the time when you open the app. Lost me on this one…


    • Well, that’s not going to ever happen. Do you really think Apple would let Google and other 3rd party consumers compete with Siri? Apple has that shit on lock down.

      Hell you can’t even get custom keyboards on iOS.

      So don’t hold your breath…..


  6. App crashes upon launch on JB 6.1.2 iPhone 5


  7. Alright… Just used it. OK GOOGLE… LOUD chime… then my speakers are dead.
    Am I alone with that ?


  8. Watch your battery go from 100% to 90% in like 5 minutes while running this app in the background…..Yeah no thanks. I will stick to Siri. It works great for me.