Google has done the unthinkable and brought Google Assistant to the iPhone. Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa. By bringing it to the iPhone, Google is pitching it in direct competition with Siri, which comes built into iOS 10.
For the uninitiated, Google Assistant is a digital assistant powered by artificial intelligence. It was originally only available on the Google Pixel, before Google started rolling it out to more Android handsets. And now it’s making the heady leap from Android to iOS as a standalone app.
Google Assistant on Your iPhone
At Google I/O 2017, Google announced that Google Assistant is now available on the iPhone. It’s a standalone app weighing in a 256MB, and requires you to be running iOS 9.1 or newer. It’s already available to download from the App Store, but only in the United States for the time being.
While Google Assistant obviously isn’t baked into iOS like Siri, it’s still relatively simple to use. As Google explains, “Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help.” Once you’ve set it up, just “press the mic icon or start typing”.
While iPhone users will be very familiar with Siri, this will probably be their first contact with Google Assistant. So, to help you get to grips with Google Assistant, Google has provided a selection of things Google Assistant is capable of doing. This isn’t everything, but it’s a start.
- Make quick phone calls (e.g. “Call Mom.”)
- Send text messages (e.g. “Text my bestie.”)
- Send emails (e.g. “Email your boss the latest TPS report.”)
- Set reminders (e.g. “Remind me to buy a birthday gift for Sarah.”)
- Set calendar events (e.g. “Set a calendar event for dinner with Charlie tomorrow from 7-9.”)
- Play music (e.g. “Play Jazz music on Youtube.”)
- Navigate to places (e.g. “Get me directions home.”)
- Ask it anything (e.g. “Will I need an umbrella today?”)
At the time of writing, Google Assistant only works in English, which is a clear disadvantage when comparing it to Siri. However, Google has promised support for French, German, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Korean, and Spanish languages will arrive before the end of 2017.
Google Assistant Is Here to Help
Google Assistant is arguably smarter and more capable than Siri. It’s also friendlier when holding a conversation. So while Apple originally innovated in this area, the company now desperately needs to give Siri a serious makeover if it wants to carry on competing with Google into the future.
Have you ever used Google Assistant on an Android handset? If so, what did you think of it? Do you find it more useful than Siri? Or do you prefer Cortana or Alexa? Will you now be installing Google Assistant on your iPhone? Please let us know in the comments below!