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Osito wants to be Google Now for iOS, a bit too late

Mel Martin

Osito is a free iPhone app that tries to do what Google Now has done for Android phones (and now the iPhone), which is provide a time- and location-aware app that supports your daily schedule with weather, traffic, travel news and more. [The previously launched Tempo calendar is another approach to solving the same problem. -Ed.]

Osito finds information about your location, and what is on your calendar, in your emails and your daily routine. For example, if it finds a meeting in your calendar, Osito will check traffic and give you relevant advice on when to leave. Of course, the address of your meeting needs to be in the calendar for Osito to figure that out. Weather forecasts are based on location. Some of Osito's functions require a Gmail account.

The app's developers say it takes a few days for Osito to learn your schedule, and I can confirm that. Mainly I have been getting a morning weather forecast. It's not been terribly responsive to catching my meetings, and others who have used Osito are seeing the same thing.

Gallery: Osito | 3 Photos

Osito was the kernel of a good idea for iOS users who were deprived of Google Now, but earlier this morning Google updated the Google Search app with almost every feature Google Now has on Android. That's going to put Osito in the weeds unless it comes up with more and better features, and Google is a tough competitor. If you want to stay out of the Google ecosystem, Osito has some promise, but even Osito has to work with Gmail to give you all its features.

My colleague Steve Sande has the details on the Google iPhone app enhancements in a post today. That app looks strong and is likely to even give Apple's Siri some heartburn.

Osito is optimized for the iPhone 5 and requires iOS 6.

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