Google Search app gets ‘OK Google’ handsfree voice control, reminders, alerts, and more

Google Search 3.1 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Google Search 3.1 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

Google has just updated its native Search app for the iPhone and iPad with a slew of new features, starting with a number of new types of Google Now cards and the ability to activate the voice search handsfree, simply by saying “OK Google” like on Android. This feature works on the iPhone 4s or later devices. You can now enjoy one-touch sign-on and elect to receive alerts for delayed flights and upcoming appointments and events, as well as for public transit reminders.

The app now supports new types of reminders for movies, actors, TV shows, musicians and web content updates, including location-based and time-relative entries like “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend”. Jump past the fold for the full reveal…

Along with the new Now cards for event tickets, car rental reservations, public transit information and flight updates, the new Google Search version 3.1 for iOS features a revamped homepage that’s even cleaner than before, pinch-zoom gesture to zoom in on images, one touch sign-in for native Google apps and voiceover accessibility improvements.

Here’s the sweet promo vid.

The new Now cards include tickets for movies, concerts and events, boarding passes for flights, reservation confirmations for car rentals and public transit warnings when your last train home leaves.

Notifications in the Google Search iOS app.

As for reminders, you can now set to be reminded (just search and press the “remind me” button) when your favorite musicians release a new album, TV show has a new episode, actors star in a new movie and celebrities and politicians make headlines.

“You no longer need to comb through email to find an upcoming flight’s boarding pass or the tickets to your next movie or concert,” the search monster argues in a blog post. “The updated app will simply show you a Google Now card with your tickets when you arrive at the theatre or airport”.

Google Search 3.1 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 003)Google Search 3.1 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 004)

Although the updated app is available internationally, Google noted that reminders and “OK Google” handsfree voice search work only in English “for now”.

Google first announced these new features a little more than a month ago.

The full changelog follows:

Google Now gets even better with:
• Notifications – Get notified when it’s time to go
• Reminders – Never forget to put out the trash
• New cards – See tickets, boarding passes, & more
• Handsfree voice – Just say “OK Google” to search*
* requires iPhone 4s or later

Notifications deliver info before you open the app:
• When to leave for your next appointment or event
• If your flight is running late
• How to catch the last train home

Ask Google to remember things for you. Just say:
• “Remind me to buy coffee beans at Starbucks,” or
• “Remind me to check out the fair this weekend”
and Google will remind you at the right time or place.

You can also ask to be reminded when your favorite:
• Musicians release a new album
• TV show has a new episode
• Actors star in a new movie
• Celebrities and politicians make headlines
Just search and press the “remind me” button.

New cards organize the info you care about:
• Tickets for movies, concerts and events
• Boarding passes for your flights
• Reservation confirmations for car rentals
• Warnings when your last train home leaves
• Lists of upcoming local events

And finally, search is better than ever with:
• A redesigned and simplified homepage
• Gestures to zoom or throw away images
• One touch sign in if you use other Google apps
• Improved voiceover accessibility

By the way, Google Search recently turned 15.

Google Search 3.1 is a free download from the App Store.

The 32.7MB universal binary requires an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch running iOS 6 or later, supports all form-factor iDevices natively and is optimized for the taller screen on the iPhone 5/5s/5c.

What’s your favorite new feature in Google Search 3.1?