Google Assistant is ready to do battle with Siri on its home
iPhone users can now get their hands on the dedicated Google
Assistant app for iOS, but don’t expect it to offer everything
you get on Android.
Announced at Google I/O last year, the Assistant takes
everything fans loved about Google Now and combines it with a
friendlier, more conversational persona — and new
features. It’s Google’s answer to the excellent Amazon Alexa,
and it’s just as powerful.
Google Assistant can make table reservations, order
takeaway, compose your shopping list, fetch all kinds of
information, answer questions, and find places nearby. It also
has the ability to interact with and control other smart
devices around your home.
Assistant’s latest update steals a feature from Samsung Bixby,
allowing users to identify objects in the real world. With
Google Lens, it can translate foreign text, identify signs and
objects, and more. You can even point it at the sticker on the
back of your router to grab your Wi-Fi password.
Assistant is baked into Android 7.0 Nougat and available in the
Google Home speaker, and now you can get it on iPhone with the
new Assistant app. It’s only available to users in the
U.S. for now, but Google promises it will be extending its
reach to other markets later.
You can interact with the Assistant using your voice — just
like you use Siri — or by typing in text, so you don’t need to
get all embarrassed in public. But thanks to Apple’s
limitations and a lack of deeper iOS integration, it won’t do
everything the Assistant has to offer.
For instance, you can’t use the Assistant to set alarms or
create reminders, because it’s unable to interact with those
iOS apps. But if you need help finding information, a great
restaurant nearby, or that song you can’t get out of your head,
it might just be more useful than Siri.
Google also confirmed today that the Assistant will soon
support French, German, Portuguese, and Japanese, while
Italian and Korean will be available before the end of the
year. Assistant is also coming to Android TV and Android Auto.