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(Pocket-lint) - Google Now has finally arrived for iOS, but because of the locked-down nature of the operating system it is baked in to an update of Google Search rather than being its own entity.

Similarly, the restriction Apple places on its mobile infrastructure means that you can't have Google Now accessible from iOS in the same way you can Android - you have to spark up the Google Search application first. But it does offer many of the cards and features that have made the software so popular on the rival platform.

You will need to sign in to a Google account to use it (something that's already done on Android as the Google account is a backbone to that particular system, for obvious reasons), but after doing so, you need only swipe upwards to access your Google Now cards, based on your location and other personal factors.

Android users will also note that some of the cards are missing, but you can check the weather, see bus and train timetables and flight information, be offered details of local bars and restaurants, get traffic reports and sports scores, currency conversion tables and more.

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You can switch on and off what cards you'd like to appear in your Google Now feed through a tagged settings screen and that's about it. Google Search for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is available as a free download on iTunes.

Writing by Rik Henderson.