A few days ago, rumors started circulating that Google was planning to bring its Assistant digital assistant to mobile devices made by tech rival Apple. Well, the company has recently made an official announcement during its annual I/O Developer Conference, stating that Google Assistant is indeed on its way to iOS handsets. But wait -- doesn’t iOS already have Siri? Google Assistant will not be supplanting Siri, technically speaking, but if iOS mobile users want to, they can make use of Assistant within Google’s dedicated mobile app. For those owners of Apple mobile devices can now download Google Assistant directly from the App Store.
As far as voice driven digital assistants go, Google’s Assistant is pretty impressive in its own right. It can adeptly process questions from users, even those that are complex. The fact that it is integrated with third party apps is definitely a plus. Moreover, it allows users to manage other connected gadgets, thanks to new partnerships that Google has recently struck with a roster of other vendors.
Google made its debut on the Pixel and the Pixel XL, the current flagship devices that Google had first formally introduced back in October of last year. More than a couple of months ago, Google then started to roll out the digital assistant feature to other Android powered mobile devices, specifically those handsets that are running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat. According to recent estimates, approximately a hundred million devices across the globe already have Google Assistant.
Despite being already made available in countries outside the United States, Google Assistant currently only has an English version. In this particular aspect, Siri still offers the better flexibility, in terms of language. Having said that, it bears noting that other digital assistant offerings like those from Amazon (Alexa) and Microsoft (Cortana) also are not as lingually flexible. The good news for Assistant is that Google is looking to add support for other languages, specifically French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Japanese in the coming weeks or months.
The Google Assistant digital assistant feature actually evolved from Google Now, the search and notification service that Google discontinued earlier this year. The Assistant’s capabilities also include setting up reminders for appointments, taking photos, offering translations, providing directions, updating weather information, and controlling home devices, among many others. As mentioned earlier, iOS mobile users can now download the digital assistant service from the App Store.
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