Google Assistant is spreading its wings and is expected to fly off to explore newer residencies very soon, possibly at the Google I/O 2017 developer conference, which starts tomorrow. According to reports from Bloomberg (and Android Police), Google Assistant is going to find its way into Apple’s iPhone through the launch of a standalone iOS app this week.
The Mountain View giant first took the wraps off the next iteration of its AI voice assistant at last year’s Google I/O. It was initially only available on Google’s consumer-focused smart messaging app Allo, Google Home and its own-brand Pixel smartphones. But, the scope of the Assistant expanded to cover most Nougat and Marshmallow devices earlier this year.
As Google Assistant faces intense competition from Alexa and rumors of Siri becoming ever so powerful, the company has decided to give iPhone user an alternative. The information on the standalone iOS app is presently quite bleak. It can either only be a voice integration (similar to those on Android devices) or bring along a chat interface (similar to that on Allo) as well.
Sources suggest it will take voice commands via voice, the usual functionality and integrate with other Google apps on the iPhone. They further add that the app will initially only be made available in the United States, before expanding the scope to other global nations. Google Assistant on iOS will surely have its limitations as it won’t have access to every function of the iPhone and will run within the app.
Recently, there has also been speculations that Google’s AI smarts will jump ship from being baked only their own hardware to new avenues — not limited only to smartphones or smart home speakers. Bloomberg suggests that Mountain View is adopting a strategy similar to Amazon/Samsung to make the Assistant run on even more devices, reaching more masses. This will be made possible by the recently launched Assistant SDK to enable hardware makers to integrate voice controls into any device.
The report further mentions that Google’s AI smarts will soon show up in new locations, such as its widely popular Photos app. The source aware of the development claims the Photos app will be upgraded to include a feature for creating physical coffee table photo books. This will be an add-on and different from the existing AI software supporting the automatic creation of albums. The physical albums created inside the app will be available for order+shipment to their homes at the cost of $10 per book.
This decision is essential for Google as Amazon’s Alexa has already gained immense visibility among the populace. The e-commerce giant has recently been focused on appending its hardware lineup, with the release of two new Echo devices in the last 30 days. This strategy could either attract buyers or push them away to other AI assistants, who’re better at keeping up conversations than Alexa.