Update: Apple has officially stated that Google Now was not submitted to the App Store for review.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was on stage today at the Google Big Tent Summit in India, and he discussed a range of topics, including Google Now. Recent rumors posit that Google Now could make its way to iPhone and iPad, based on a supposed leaked video received by Engadget last week. Schmidt addressed a direct question about Google Now on iOS today at the Big Tent event, adding fuel to the fire by suggesting the ball is now in Apple’s court for Google Now on iOS.
According to Techmeme Editor Mahendra Palsule, who was watching the live stream of the event and live-tweeting the proceedings, Schmidt responded to a direct question from moderator Alan Rusbridger about when Google Now would work on his iPhone with “You’ll need to discuss that with Apple” (at around 17:50). “Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of them they approve and some of them they don’t,” he went on to say. It’s similar to the kind of messaging that came out of Google and its execs when rumors were swirling about Google releasing Maps as a standalone app.
The demo video for Google Now claims to be a promotional video of the feature that was circulated internally, and shows how the smart assistant feature would work on iPhone and iPad, via the Google Search app. It would live there and be available from a swipe up within the app, the same way it’s available system-wide with Android 4.2.X devices. The video demos features including traffic for commutes, live updates for flights, translation and conversion services, as well as updates for athletic events and sightseeing info.
Even contained within the Google Search app, Google Now is a feature that would be useful on iOS. And for the search giant itself, iOS presence for the contextual assistant would mean a much larger potential data pool to draw from in crafting its personalization engine.
Schmidt’s answer to Rusbridger isn’t exactly a direct confirmation that Google has indeed submitted Google Now for iOS, but it’s a very strong suggestion that that’s the case. Apple has a track record for giving these things the green light, too, so there’s definitely hope for iOS fans who also want a taste of Google Now.