Google Assistant just rolled out on the iPhone, joining other Google apps in their largest competitor’s ecosystem. Speaking of competition, Assistant now jostles for screen time with Cortana, Alexa, and Apple’s own Siri. Will this move make even more people engage with personal assistants? Or, is this just a further saturation of a niche segment?
You can download the app for your iPhone here!
Google made the announcement at their massive I/O 2017 event. They also revealed Android O Beta details, Google Lens, a new AI chip, and more!
You can trace Google Assistant’s roots back to Google Now – contextually relevant cards that helped you through your day. The Assistant in its current form started out as a Pixel exclusive, and on Google Home and their semi-useless Allo app. It recently began rolling out to Android phones running Nougat. On Android or Home, Assistant can give you the news, play music, search your screen and give you relevant information, cast Netflix and YouTube to your TV, and even call an Uber. The list of abilities keeps growing as Google continues with update after update.
However, because of Apple’s strict control over API, this iOS version won’t be as powerful as you would hope. While it can play your music and send messages, it can’t set alarms or be launched from the home button. That’s where Siri still lives, so you’d have to add the Assistant icon to your home screen to launch it.
Despite their recent push into hardware, search-based advertising is Pichai & Co.’s number one revenue stream. So, it makes sense that they keep putting their most popular services on iPhone. Gmail, Gboard, and others can’t be kept as Android exclusives because of all the money that smartphone users funnel into Google.
I personally use Google Assistant multiple times daily, on my phone and Google Home. Do you geeks use personal assistants? If so, which one is your go-to? Drop your favourite in the comments!