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Will Google Now For iPhone & iPad Boost Google Search App Usage?

March 13, 2013

Google Now for iPhone & iPad

Engadget spotted and has archived a promotional video that suggests the Google Search App for iOS may be gaining Google Now support. That support might help boost usage of the Google Search App, which barely makes the iTunes Top 100.

Google Now No Longer Android-Only?

Google Now is Google’s predictive search assistant, which tries to anticipate answers to things before you ask, such as travel times to destinations you frequent. Google Now is available for newer Android devices but not for the iPhone.

Late last year, after two months of delay, an upgraded Google Search App was approved by Apple. While it had a Google Now-like look, using similar “info cards,” it lacked the actual Google Now predictive service.

The Google Search App

google search app with google nowThe Google Search App can often provide answers to some questions faster than Apple’s native Siri voice assistant, as our How Google’s New Search App For The iPhone Might Steal Searchers Away From Siri article from last year explains more.

Despite this, the Google Search App hasn’t rocketed to the top of the iTunes download charts.

YouTube, Google Maps Adoption Tops Google Search

YouTube, for example, has held steady in the iTunes top ten for free apps, currently ranked eight. YouTube isn’t native on the latest version of iOS, and people are clearly going out of their way to get the app. It shot to the top after being released last September and has stayed there:

itunes charts youtube and google maps

When Google Maps was when released last December, it also shot to the top of the charts and remains there now, number nine, just after YouTube.

Breaking The Safari Habit

In contrast, the Google Search App never hit the top ten that I spotted, immediately after it launched. After a week, it was only at 48. Currently, it’s at 95. People clearly aren’t seeing it as a necessity, compared to things like YouTube or Google Maps (though Apple recommendations of those two might be helping them).

In part, that could be because Google Search is the default in Safari. People might not have broken the habit of searching from Safari’s built-in search box. Potentially, Google Now being added to the Google Search App might help boost adoption, by breaking the Safari habit.

Meanwhile, Google Now For Chrome & Chromebooks?

Separately, The Verge reported earlier today that signs are that Google Now might come to Chrome and Chromebook users. Our Marketing Land story has more on that: Report: Google Now Coming To Chrome & Chromebooks?




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