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Google iOS App Gets Siri-Style Voice Functionality

Pretty soon Google's and Apple's voice assistants will come to blows. The Google Search app for iOS has been updated with major improvements for iPhone users including improved voice search. The update proves that Siri might be getting a run for her money sooner rather than later.

Google Search app iOS

Google Search is available for free on the App Store. Not only does the latest version understand natural language queries, but the app will read back results when they are found. The entire experience is of course powered by Google's unrivaled search engine.

Google Maps iPhone App Screenshots Leaked

Ever since the iPhone 5 launch, Apple's Maps application has come under fire as one of the top five iPhone 5 complaints. Google Maps fans miss street view and transit directions, and some have experienced other glitches as Apple continues to work on the software. Added functionality from Apple such as turn-by-turn navigation and Flyover mode have made it easier to accept the new Maps.

Rumors have been bouncing around that Google would attempt to release its own stand-alone iOS app to compete with the native Apple version. Whether or not Apple will approve such an app remains to be seen. The images above are purportedly of the alpha version of Google Maps currently in development. Assuming these are genuine, Google is in fact working on a Google Maps application for iOS.

Can Google Save the iPhone 5?

In the world of smartphones customer satisfaction normally rises with each new OS update. The iPhone went from an average customer rating of 6.93 to an average of 7.7 when iOS 5 was launched. However, Apple has seen its first slip with customer satisfaction with the launch of iOS 6. According to the mobile research group On Device (via Cult of Mac), Apple's rating slightly dipped to 7.65 from 7.75. The slight decline in customer satisfaction is most likely due to disappointment over Apple's new Maps app. Good thing for Apple that Google is rumored to be working on a new app for the iPhone and iPad.

iOS 6 Maps

On Tuesday, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Google had made no move towards creatig a Maps app for the App Store. However, unnamed inside sources told the New York Times a different story, claiming Google is indeed in the process of developing a maps application for iOS devices. The app will hopefully be ready by the end of this year. But why the delay? Google had no problem replacing the booted stock YouTube app with a new standalone app a few days before iOS 6 was released.

Google in no Rush to Create Maps App for Apple's App Store

Google is in no rush to create a standalone Maps app for the Apple App Store, said Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Apple replaced the Google Maps app with its own mapping service with the launch of iOS 6. iPhone 5 owners and users who upgraded their devices have complained that Apple's new map service features too many geographical errors, and is missing many of the Google Maps features that so many iOS users enjoyed.

Google Maps App

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told a small group of reporters in Tokyo that he can't force Apple to use Google's mapping services.

"We think it would have been better if they had kept ours. But what do I know?" said Schmidt. "What were we going to do, force them not to change their mind? It's their call."

How do I enable the Google handwriting search option?

To enable the Google handwriting recognition option for Google Search, go to google.com/preferences, and select the "Enable" button under "Handwrite". This will allow you to use your finger to search Google instead of typing your inquiry into the search box. Just tap the 'g' button while on google.com and the feature will automatically convert your handwriting into text.

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