By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “Siri” is getting some competition.  Google is out with its own personal assistant for iPhone and iPad.

It’s called Google Now.  The search box responds and replies to your voice commands, and “cards” with information appear below.  They’re based on where you are, so the correct weather, nearby businesses, and public transit schedules come up automatically.

There’s also a card for popular photo-taking spots near your location.

Or, for instance, if you’ve confirmed a flight via Gmail, the flight’s status shows with departure time, terminal, and gate.

Overseas, Now has a currency converter and the current time back home.

And it’s connected.  I pulled up a Google map of a shore town on my desktop, while signed in.  A moment later on the iPhone, Now told me how traffic was on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Android users have had Now for a while; and now, it’s a free download in Apple’s app store.