Google is reportedly set to announce that its virtual assistant on Android will have an iOS version.
It could be launched as a standalone Assistant app, and the announcement could come as soon as Google's I/O developer conference begins, according to reports. Exactly what Google's plans remains unclear, however. The conference is scheduled for May 17 to 19.
Google Assistant Is Reportedly Coming To iOS
Reports speculate that the standalone Assistant app for iOS devices would likely feature the same chat-style interface found on Allo, Google's messaging platform that has Assistant baked in. But again, details remain slim. It could very well launch under a totally different skin, for all we know.
As Android Police reports, citing one of its trusted sources, the app would only launch for U.S. users initially, although it stands to reason that the app will become available in other countries shortly thereafter.
It's likely Google will indeed unveil Assistant for iOS during its I/O developer conference, seeing as how Assistant's software development kit was made available just last month. Porting it over to one of the world's biggest mobile operating systems will not only open up Assistant to iOS-only apps, but will also encourage developers to create integrations between them.
Again, precious little information is available, but expect due coverage when we find out more. But to be sure, reports say that an iOS version of Assistant is a shoo-in. The only uncertain thing is whether Google plans to announce it during the I/O conference or much later via a blog post, as it usually does with new products.
What This Means For Siri
Apple currently has a digital voice-enabled assistant of its own named Siri, which is integrated into iOS devices out of the box. It's likely Apple won't reject Google Assistant on its devices, seeing as how it had allowed Amazon Alexa to come to iOS via Amazon's shopping app. But the presence of Google's virtual assistant will surely threaten Siri.
Assistant and Siri are arguably neck-and-neck in terms of functionality, but many have compared the two in the past, with varying results. Siri is an able virtual assistant, but it lacks one thing Assistant deftly excels at — contextual responses. For example, if you ask Google Assistant, "Who's Bill Murray?" it will give you information about the actor. Then, you can bark follow-up questions such as, "What movies has he appeared in?" or "How old is he?" without mentioning his name again. Assistant knows you're still talking about Murray. Siri, by contrast, does not.
Couple that with reports indicating that Siri is the least accurate of the crop of virtual assistants.
How Assistant will function when it's eventually ported over to iOS remains nebulous, but one thing is for sure: it'll share the space with Siri while there, giving it a run for its money.
Thoughts about an iOS version of Assistant? Do you think it will threaten Siri? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!