Apple iOS users may soon be getting a taste of the Android Jelly Bean app Google Now that serves as a virtual guide to your surroundings (but supposedly can get a bit too creepy for comfort), but it appears Google was not ready to divulge the details of its iOS integration just yet.
Reports indicate that a video surfaced on YouTube Tuesday evening promoting Google Now for iOS, which was quickly removed without warning or reason. Tech website Engadget, however, got its hands on a low-quality version of the 42-second spot that clearly indicates the app, originally developed only for Android, was meant to run on the iPhone and iPad.
The video promo detailed the app's traffic, translation and local information capabilities, for which Google Now has become known. The video is apparently very similar to a promo Google shared in June 2012 for the initial release of Google Now.
Wired reports that a Google spokesperson declined to comment about the YouTube video, neither Google nor Apple have revealed any confirmation or other news about the app being released for iOS, but enthusiasts now expect to see it at some point.
The app works fairly simply: With a simple swipe up, Google Now activates and provides its user with all the information he or she needs without having to search for it first.
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Google Now has mostly received positive reviews from the tech world. Having won the “Innovation of the Year” award from Popular Science, the feature is being hailed as a “Siri Killer,” a major competitor against Apple’s virtual personal assistant feature that was introduced on the iPhone 4S. That said, some users reportedly take issue with the amount of personal information users are required to give Google in order for the app to adapt according to each person’s particular lifestyle.
Nevertheless, iOS may not be the only operating system that will feature Google Now in the unforeseeable future. The app may also be implemented into Windows 8 as well as Google’s Chromium browser for Chromebooks.
French web developer Francois Beaufort recently discovered Chrome flag for Google Now on a developer’s version of Google’s Chromium browser, which would allow the feature to be used on the Google Chrome OS as well as on Windows 8.
BGR suggests enthusiasts should not expect to see Google Now on these other operating systems anytime soon. As Jelly Bean is available on only 10 percent of Android devices, the feature isn’t currently very widespread. Google is likely to focus on developing it for other products, such as its upcoming Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, and its high-tech eyewear, Google Glass, before implementing it into third-party systems.
Several sources have even considered the promo could have been removed due to being a fake, though they admit if that is the case, the video is a particularly well-orchestrated counterfeit.
Wired notes that “the voice over, the artwork, the happy hipster pop soundtrack” in the spot are all quintessentially Google. For now, most are willing to accept that the promo is real and Google likely has an alternate reason for delaying the introduction of its iOS venture. Perhaps the tech giant doesn’t want to reveal too much detail about conspiring with the competition until everything is perfect.