If you’re already using Google Maps, Gmail, Chrome, and Google Drive on your iPhone, why not add yet another Google product to the mix?
During Google’s jam-packed string of announcements at I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, it announced that Assistant was now available for the iPhone. The straightforwardly named voice-based digital assistant has been living inside Google devices including its Pixel smartphones and Home connected speaker, as well as apps like Allo, for the better part of a year. Now, iPhone owners can choose to use Google’s assistant over Siri, if they so choose.
Assistant is available now as a standalone app in the Apple app store, and does pretty much everything that it can do on a Google device. Users can ask it for information about their commutes or the weather, control internet-of-things devices, their Chromecasts, or just about anything else they might search for on Google. You can either type queries, or say “OK Google” to activate the assistant.
Unlike on Google devices, however, Assistant will not be available when you’re not actively using the app, which limits its usefulness. On a Pixel, for example, your phone could be sitting with the screen off, and saying “OK Google” would wake it up and activate the assistant—on the iPhone, you can only do this with Siri, which is in dire need of an overhaul.
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