A new rumor claims that Apple will allow iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 owners to select Google Assistant as the default virtual assistant, replacing Siri.
If this rumor is true, this will not be the first time that Apple and Google will team up for the iPhone.
Google Assistant On New iPhones
According to an exclusive report by Android Guys, Apple and Google are working together for deeper integration of the Google Assistant on the three new iPhone models that are expected to be launched this year.
The source of the report claims that the launch of Google Assistant for iOS devices during Google's I/O 2017 was the "soft launch" for the renewed partnership of the two companies. Google Assistant is being primed as an option to completely replace Siri in the new iPhone models, with first-party integration similar to what Siri enjoys in iPhones and Google Assistant in Android devices.
Currently, iPhone owners can use Google Assistant on their devices through a third-party app that needs to be launched before users can talk to Google's virtual assistant. With full integration and acting as a replacement for Siri, owners of the new iPhones can call Google Assistant through a dedicated button or wake word.
It is unknown how far along Apple is in integrating Google Assistant into the new iPhones, or if there are any limitations to Google Assistant if it is used as the default virtual assistant for the new iPhone models. The source, however, likened the functionality of Google Assistant on iPhones to the integration of Amazon's Alexa in smartphones such as those manufactured by Huawei.
Could This Rumor Be True?
If the rumor is true, this will not be the first time that the two companies will work together for the iPhone, as some customers may remember that Google Maps was the default map app on the original iPhone when it launched. Apple has since replaced Google Maps with its own Apple Maps.
While this means that there is indeed a possibility that Apple and Google will team up, there are a variety of factors that cloud the authenticity of the report.
First and foremost, Apple has invested a considerable amount of resources on Siri, which makes it very unlikely that it will allow a virtual assistant made by a rival company to replace it inside their flagship product. Apple has also recently unveiled the HomePod, a Siri-powered smart speaker, so the company would likely be looking to keep Siri as the preferred virtual assistant throughout its ecosystem.
There is also a need to consider the difference between Siri and Google Assistant. While they are both virtual assistants, Apple designed Siri to place utmost respect on user privacy, while Google Assistant harvests personal data from users.
Lastly, the source from the Android Guys report adds that Apple is planning to launch three new iPhone models this year. This is a classic trick among sources to make their claims seem more plausible, by including another rumor or fact that is already widely known.
All signs point to the rumor being false, but we will never know for sure until Apple announces the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 some time in September.