The battle for AI supremacy is no longer about which device you want to buy. First Microsoft’s Cortana made the leap from Windows to the Android lock screen, and Android followed up by integrating Alexa into its shopping app. But now things are starting to get really interesting as Google reportedly readies a major push onto iOS.
According to Android Police, Google is planning to release a standalone Assistant app on iOS, with an announcement possibly coming at I/O this week. According to the report, “The app would likely feature a blend of the “chat” style functionality in the Google Allo version of Assistant and the voice-controlled version found on Android,” but site cautions that “details are scant.”
Assistant on iOS would put some serious pressure on Siri. While it wouldn’t be integrated as deeply as Apple’s AI, Assistant would shine a spotlight on the many things Siri can’t do, like play games, show search results for things it doesn’t know, and speak conversationally. For example, if you ask Google Assistant who the chairman of Amazon is, it will tell you that it’s Jeff Bezos, like Siri. But if you then ask, “How much is he worth,” it will know that you are still speaking about Bezos. Siri, however, will start a new query.
Google I/O kicks off Wednesday morning, and we’ll be glued to the keynote to see if this rumor comes to fruition.
Now we’re talking: Google I/O would be an ideal venue for the release of Assistant on iOS. Last year Google launched its new chatbot to the world, and over the past 12 months has been working to bring it to as many phones and devices as possible. But an iPhone app would seriously up the stakes in the battle between Assistant and Siri, especially with the rumor that Apple is planning to release its own Google Home competitor at WWDC. OK Google, make us some popcorn.
This story, “Google is reportedly eyeing an iOS Assistant app as it fires new salvo in the AI wars” was originally published by
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Google I/O 2017
Michael Simon covers all things mobile for Greenbot and Macworld. You can usually find him with his nose buried in a screen.