Google Crosses Lines, Puts Google Assistant on iPhone

By Steve Anderson May 18, 2017

It's always kind of interesting to see companies try for cross-platform releases, like trying to bring Samsung Pay to an iPhone or the like. Sometimes the cross-platform work actually goes off, like a recent move Google made for iPhones. Now, users will be able to use Google Assistant on iPhones, a move that may give Siri a run for her money.

Google announced the move at the I/O developer conference recently and noted that, while users wouldn't be able to evict Siri in favor of Google, users would be able to run Google Assistant as normal through the Google dedicated app. Users need only download Google Assistant from the App Store to carry on.

Reports suggest that Google Assistant is actually a more powerful virtual assistant than Siri, allowing for more complex questions as well as integration with third-party systems. It can even connect to smart devices, allowing Google Assistant to control parts of your house. In a recent addition, Google Assistant users can even type questions instead of counting on voice recognition to handle the job.

Granted, there are issues; Siri has a significant advantage in that it's a polyglot. Google Assistant only works in English, and Siri's multi-language capability can give it significant edge over much of the market. That includes not only Google Assistant, but also Cortana from Microsoft and Amazon's Alexa system.  Google won't be letting Siri keep that edge forever, though; Google Assistant will soon support not only Brazilian Portuguese, but also French and German, with Italian, Korean, and Spanish to follow.

Siri has another edge here in its accessibility; Siri is available with one long press on the home button, while Google Assistant is part of an app. That convenience may mean Google won't have an easy victory, but given that Google Assistant can do more in the same space, it's certainly posing a noteworthy threat to Siri's primacy on the system. The question is how long can Siri—which is in at least some ways a lesser system than Google Assistant—bank on the combination of more languages and greater convenience on its home system to hold out against the wider range of Google Assistant? After all, when Google Assistant picks up its language versatility, that's going to be one of two major advantages for Siri gone with it.

Google Assistant is picking up the pace as a serious Siri competitor, and now that Siri doesn't have the insulative advantage of a walled garden on its side, it may well be set to lose a lot of ground to Google Assistant. Only time will tell how it all turns out, but this likely isn't good news for Siri. 

There’s a lot going on in the AI space at the moment. If you’d like to learn more about AI, be sure to check out TMC and Crossfire Media’s newest conference and expo, Communications 20/20, happening July 18-20 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The event will focus on the next wave of technology and innovations that will transcend the importance of person to person contact, disrupting the future of the entire communications industry. Find out more HERE.



Edited by Alicia Young

Contributing Writer

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