A senior Google
executive has teased possible future iOS support for the Google Assistant
Right now, Google’s
AI-powered digital assistant – Google Assistant – is only available on Android
devices, specifically those running on the latest version of Android Nougat.
But Google has been no stranger to building apps for the iPhone in the past,
with many of its most popular apps like Maps, Hangouts, and Gmail all available
Speaking to Google
Product Management Director Gummi Hafsteinsson at Mobile World Congress in
Barcelona, Geekster asked whether Google Assistant would ever be made available
on Apple’s iOS software.
“I don’t think we have
anything to announce at this point,” Gummi responded. "But I think the
general philosophy is that we would like to have the Assistant available to as
many people as possible.”
While that’s not
strictly confirmation, it’s a clear hint that Google ambitions for Google
Assistant are much more broad than the current rollout.
likely to be hampering Google’s efforts are Apple’s rules for iOS, which don’t
allow for integrated third-party voice assistants. These rules help keep
Apple’s own Siri digital assistant at the fore of iPhone users mobile
experience, as opposed to a rival. That said, Google’s iOS search app comes
with Google Now built-in – that’s Google’s Assistant predecessor, which has a
much more limited AI brain.
So why would iPhone
users want Google Assistant if they’ve already got Siri? Well the key advantage
of Google Assistant is that it has a heightened contextual awareness, and will
understand your questions based on what you’re looking at on a page, or the
questions you’ve previously asked. Apple, meanwhile, has been slow to develop
the AI core of Siri, which means it offers a comparatively underwhelming
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