Google Assistant Comes To iPhone, Adds Alerts, Hands-Free Calling & More

During Google’s keynote at I/O 2017, Google Assistant made quite the impression.  The Assistant gained a number of new features and expanded beyond its Android-based roots.

Not surprising at all, Google chose to make Assistant available on the iPhone.  This will make it an even bigger competitor to Siri, the iPhone’s built in assistant as well as Microsoft’s Cortana.  Assistant will be a standalone app that is compatible with any iPhone that is running iOS 9.1 or later.

There are even some new features that Assistant is going to be getting as well.  These includes:

  • Notifications – Home will be able to alert users when it has important information to share, such as traffic delays, reminders, and flight statuses.  Rather than talking on its own, it will light up when an alert is ready.
  • Type To Assistant – There might be times that talking to the Assistant isn’t the best idea.  In this case, users can communicate with Assistant by typing on the phone.
  • Integration with Lens – Assistant is going to be able to work together with Google Lens, which is Google’s AI-based visual search tool, which was announced along side the iPhone version of the Assistant.  Users can use Assistant to learn more and take actions on images they photograph with Lens:

  • Hands-free calling – This feature is months away, but when it does release, users in the US and Canada can use Assistant to place hands-free calls though Home devices to any mobile or landline phone.
  • New entertainment options – You’ll be able to listen to free music through Spotify with Assistant/Home.  SoundCloud and Deezer are coming to Home as well.  Regarding video, Assistant/Home will be able to let users watch HBO Now, HGTV, CBS All Access and other providers on your connected TVs.
  • Visual responses -Later this year, Assistant will be able to send visual responses to televisions screens with Chromecast.  An example that was given by Google included seeing upcoming Google Calendar events on TV.

Google’s Scott Huffman says that the big push is to make Assistant and Home more conversational and more helpful with tasks.

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