Your iPhone just got all Googley
Ayyyo, get excited. Google Assistant is now on iPhone. Earlier this week, rumors about iOS availability were circulating among techies.
At the annual I/O development conference, Assistant’s VP of engineering Scott Huffman confirmed the rumors, announcing an iOS version of the virtual assistant is available in the U.S.
Why not just use Siri?
Previously, Assistant could only be used on Android devices and Google Home smart speakers. Now, you can download the app on Apple devices with iOS 9.1 or higher. What’s the point of using Assistant when iPhones already have Siri though?
Well, for the most part, Assistant and Siri can do the same things. Both can help you make quick calls, send texts, set reminders, and play music, among other basic functions.
But Google Assistant can handle more complex tasks and questions than Siri, and in a more conversational style.
With Assistant, you can ask follow-up questions and it remembers the context. For example, you could ask, “where was Lord of the Rings filmed?” and it will tell you New Zealand.
If you then follow up with, “how many people live there?” Assistant will remember the context of the question and tell you the population of New Zealand. Siri doesn’t have this kind of feature yet, so asking follow-up questions are just likely to confuse her.
There are limits…
However, due to iOS restrictions, you can’t use the home button for access to Assistant like you would with Siri, and saying “OK Google” to fulfill your commercial fantasy dreams won’t work either. Also, Assistant weirdly can’t set alarms for you.
Although unlike Siri, you can give Google Assistant text commands via the app if you’re in public and don’t want to be that jackass asking Siri to do things for you while you’re chilling in a coffee shop. Bonus: Assistant defaults to Google Maps instead of Apple Maps.
But wait, there’s more
The Assistant app also provides an “Explore” page with suggestions of fun questions to ask, a “Your Stuff” tab that lists reminders and agenda. You can also add quick shortcuts so that saying, “late again” will shoot an automatic text to your friend that as usual, you’re running late.
While Assistant can’t launch apps or call a Lyft for you, it’s far superior at understanding voice commands and translating languages. Speaking of, Google announced Brazilian, French, German, Japanese, and Portuguese will soon be available on Assistant.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you’ve got space on your phone, give Assistant a shot. Just don’t tell Siri you’re cheating on her.” quote=”If you’ve got space on your phone, give Assistant a shot. Just don’t tell Siri you’re cheating on her.”]