Google Now comes to upstage Siri on Iphones, Ipads

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Google is making efforts to upstage Siri – an app which helps people manage their lives on Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
The fight begins today with the release of a free iPhone and iPad app that features Google Now, a technology that performs many of the same functions as Siri. It is the first time that Google Now has been available on smartphones and tablet computers that are not running on the latest version of Google’s Android software.
The technology, which debuted nine months ago, is being included in an upgrade to Google’s search application for iOS, the Apple software that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
 
It is up to each user to decide whether to activate Google Now within the redesigned Google Search app, which is available through Apple’s app store. This is another of Google’s attempts to lure iPhone and iPad users away from a service that Apple built into its own devices.
 
Google quickly won over millions of iPhone users in December when it released a mapping application to replace the navigation system that Apple dumped when it redesigned iOS last autumn. Apple has been losing to Google on other fronts in a rapidly growing mobile computing market, an arena that was revolutionized with the iPhone’s release in 2007.
 
Smartphones and tablet computers running Google’s free Android software have been steadily expanding their market share in recent years, partly because they tend to be less expensive than the iPhone and iPad. At the end of 2012, Android devices held about 69% of the smartphone market while iOS held about 19%, according to the research firm IDC.
 
Android’s success has been particularly galling for Apple because its late CEO Steve Jobs believed Google stole many of its ideas for the software from the iPhone. That led to a series of court battles over alleged patent infringement, including a high-profile trial last year that culminated in Apple winning hundreds of millions in damages from Samsung – the top seller of Android phones. That dispute is still embroiled in appeals.
 
Siri is billed by Apple as an “intelligent feature”. Since the technology’s release in October 2011, Apple has made it a centrepiece of some marketing campaigns that depict Siri and its automated female voice as an endearing and occasionally even pithy companion.
When asked for an opinion about Google Now, Siri responded: “If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather Google later.”

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