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App Wrap: "Google Now," "Switch To Windows Phone"

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TWC News: App Wrap: "Google Now," "Switch To Windows Phone"
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NY1 highlights the coolest and newest apps for your cellphone or mobile device in the twice-weekly segment "App Wrap." NY1’s Adam Balkin filed the following report.

In the real world, it would kind of be like Burger King setting up a hamburger stand inside McDonald's, but in the virtual world, it's the kind of thing that happens all the time: competitors setting up shop inside each other's homes, so to speak. There are two recent examples of this.

Google Now
First, Google's new Google Now feature has officially become part of the Google Search app for iPhones and iPads.

For a while now, it's been part of Google search on Google Android devices, but now iOS users can use the Siri-like system for voice-based searching.

What sets Google Now apart from Siri, aside from the secret Google searching sauce inside, is that cards appear on the bottom for quick access to information the app predicts you'll want before you even ask for it. For example, if on your calendar, you have a business trip coming up, cars on the bottom may have your boarding pass, weather info where you're going, traffic status, even restaurants.

Unlike the Android version of the app, though, where it just kind of works as long as the phone is on, with the iOS version, you will have to be logged into the app with a Google account.

Google Now is a free upgrade to the free Google Search app. It's available now on iOS devices and, of course, Androids as well.

Switch to Windows Phone
And speaking of Androids, Microsoft taking advantage of the its open marketplace, the Google Play store, to launch a Switch to Windows Phone app. The app, quite simply, tries to sway you if you're an Android user considering a switch.

What it does is scan the apps on your phone and quickly tells you which ones are available as well on the Windows Marketplace, thereby allaying your fears that you'll have to start your digital life from scratch. And like any good marketing tool, if the app does the trick, it can then take you to a virtual store front to help you purchase a Windows Phone.

Switch to Windows Phone is a free app for Android devices.

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