Google Assistant for iOS was confirmed earlier today at Google’s I/O conference, and is already available to download via the US App Store. The digital assistant is set to compete with Apple’s native Siri for all your voice-activated iPhone inquiries.
The downside? iPhone owners won’t be able to access Google Assistant from their home button à la Siri, and saying ‘Ok Google’ won’t switch on the feature (as it does on Android devices). You’ll need to manually open the Google Assistant app every time you plan to use it, which may be enough to keep Apple users firmly in Siri’s corner.
What can Google Assistant do?
However, Google Assistant still reigns supreme in certain areas. Users can avoid the awkward ‘talking to my phone in public’ searching by typing questions directly onto the screen, alongside interacting with Assistant vocally. The program can also handle plenty of non-Apple ecosystem tasks such as streaming to most music apps, or playing movies on your Chromecast.
Google Assistant can be used to make calls and send texts and emails, set reminders and events, conduct Google searches, help plot routes via Google Maps, find nearby restaurants and businesses, check news and stock prices, translate languages, and much more. Once you’ve installed the app and signed in to your Google account, simply tap the centre button or keyboard to get started.
One thing Google Assistant can’t yet do on iOS is set alarms. Regardless, the app still offers some pretty powerful search and help features, and provides a fun alternative for Apple users tired of Siri (or its Amazon competitor, Alexa).
American iPhone owners can download Google Assistant free from today, provided your device is operating iOS 9.1 and up.