Where iOS users have Siri (Apple’s virtual assistant) all to themselves, Android users have Google Now–Google’s virtual assistant, complete with automated mind-bending location-aware information, ready when you need it, without ever having to ask for it. That changes today, though. Google has updated its iOS search app to include Google Now, which begs the question: Where does it end?
In an update to their search app available on iPhone and iPad, Google has included a nearly feature-complete version of Google Now. The only things Google Now for iOS is missing that Android users get an exclusive hold on (for now) are seven cards and the ability to use heavy background syncing. Of course Android users get better Google Now integration, with a dedicated search bar available for your home screens and gesture launch support, but that’s it.
While Google hasn’t been shy about bringing flagship services and apps over from Android to iOS, they’re treading a fine line between improving services by gathering a larger audience and limiting the competitive power of their own operating system. If all of Android’s best services and apps are available on the iPhone, yet Apple’s best features will never touch a Nexus device, why should you buy Android?
There are still plenty of reasons people will choose Android, but there’s no denying just how big a selling point Google Now was for the platform. Will Android ever get its own flagship service all to itself?