After months of speculation, Google has released Google Now for iOS. The contextual search assistant comes to Apple’s OS through an update to the Google Search app on the App Store.

While Google says that Google Now on iOS is exactly the same as the Android one, getting to it obviously won’t be as easy as swiping upwards. There is no system-wide shortcut, and due to platform differences, Google Now on iOS cannot use background sync like it does on Android. Instead, it will use Apple’s background location feature to make getting a location lock easier.

Google Now launched for iOS

iOS finally gets Google Now

A few Google Now cards won’t be available initially, but 22 of the 28 existing Android cards are coming to iOS. So the experience won’t be all that different. Even the look and feel of the app is almost identical to its Android counterpart.

Bringing Google Now to iOS makes logical sense for the search giant. After all, not every one of its users has an Android device. Google Now is a way for the company to showcase what Android users have been experiencing for nearly a year now. We daresay it could even tempt some iOS users to switch over to Android for the native experience.

We reckon releasing Google Now to Apple's devices is Google’s way of laying down a platform before bringing the service to the web search interface. As recently as last week, we saw some evidence of Google Now coming to the search engine's homepage.

Of course, what effect Google Now has on Apple’s own Siri remains to be seen. But we don’t think Apple will be too ecstatic about this development. Having said that, let’s not forget this is great news for iOS users.

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