Google has been busy today with a couple of releases. The first is voice search for iOS and the second was an update to how compose works in Gmail.
Now you can use Google search by voice. I did a search for the date of the Battle of Bunker Hill using both Siri and Google Search. Siri came back with a series of text results including the date, while Google search by voice returned the date vocally, plus the Google search page results. According to Google the search is powered through their Knowledge Graph, which “’maps over 500 million people, places and things in the real world.” The new Google search uses naturally language so you can speak in full sentences. Like all voice search methods the results can less than perfect. However so far I have found that Google seems to understand me better than Siri does. Although Siri does have the advantage that it is available with a push of a button, while to use Google search by voice you have to bring up the app first. This iOs app was shown off in August, so there has been some question on why it took so long to get released. There has been speculation that Apple was blocking it because it competes against Siri, what ever the problem was it has clearly been resolved.
The second change that Google made was within their Gmail application. Now when you go to compose an email it pops up like a chat window. You can then pull up another email to check something and the window remains. No more having to save the draft pulling up the old email and then going back to the draft. You can unpin the window and move it around which I really appreciate. You can also open up multiple compose windows at once and hide the ones you are not working on. I probably will not use this but I can see how it could be valuable to some people. The change to Gmail compose is being rolled out so if it is not available to you it will be soon. I like the Gmail update from Google and I am glad that the new search by voice is now available on iOs.