The Google Now-like voice recognition features introduced to the Google Search for iOS app last month have been getting a lot of attention. Maps might not be the only area Apple cannot compete with Google. As highlighted in a video comparison we posted earlier this week, Google’s voice search feature has Siri beat. And many users are taking note. Today, AppAdvice pointed us to a new Jailbreak tweak called “NowNow” that allows you to call up Google voice search (from within the Google Search iOS app) by holding down the Home button—just like Siri. It appears you can also select alternate methods to invoke the feature, so you should be able to continue to use both if want. The tweak is available via the BigBoss repository now for free.
A Google Zombie iPhone?
With Android now on 75 percent of all smartphones sold, and Apple and Samsung battling in and out of court for the top vendor position, the smartphone wars usually come down to units sold. Apple vs. Samsung. Android vs. iOS. Less of a focus has been Google’s steady invasion of iOS, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. The importance of Google’s ecosystem of iOS apps has never been more apparent than following the recent controversy over the removal of YouTube and Google Maps as default features of iOS. Apple realized the necessity of controlling key experiences on iOS, such as Maps, but it is running into a backlash from users in the process. It is not just facing competition from Android vendors; it is also now engaged in a struggle to keep Google from creating its own layer on top of iOS.
Google’s iOS apps are not just driving iPhone and iPad users to use Google services instead of Apple’s; they are increasingly an important aspect of the iOS experience for a large amount of users. Sixty-one percent of iOS users in our own polls said they were hesitant to even update to iOS 6 because of Apple’s new Maps app, many of which are still waiting for a standalone Google Maps app that Apple has yet to approve. Some say the Maps fiasco coupled with Siri might have even led to the departure of long-time iOS chief Scott Forstall, which many think could result in a new direction for iOS. What this means for Google’s presence on iOS going forward remains to be seen, but Apple does not appear to be ignoring the control Google’s apps have over its users.