GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that Assistant is now available on the iPhone.
We knew this was coming, and Google confirmed that Assistant has arrived on iOS - in the US only, for now - during its I/O keynote on Wednesday.
This is good news for iPhone users, but probably won't be welcomed by Siri. However, Apple's digital helper needn't be too worried, as Assistant will be more limited than its Android counterpart. The Verge reports that "API restrictions" means Assistant on iOS will only be able to carry out basic tasks such as sending iMessages and controlling Spotify, but won't be able to set an alarm, for example.
What's more, Google Assistant arrives as a standalone app, which means you won't be able to press the Home button to fire it up, although The Verge notes that you will be able to add a widget to your iPhone.
Google also announced a handful of improvements coming to Assistant during I/O. It now supports the ability to type, which is good news for the 99 per cent of people who feel like an idiot barking at their phone, and it's also becoming more conversational thanks to soon-to-be-added Google Lens integration.
This means, in basic terms, that Assistant will be able to have a conversation about what you see. For example, as Google showed off during its demonstration, you'll be able to scan a sign for an upcoming concert and Assistant will recognise what you're looking at, and will promptly suggest actions such as 'buy tickets' or 'add to calendar'.
You'll soon be able to order things through Google Assistant too, thanks to an update that integrates Google's own payments processing system. The feature, which will probably launch first in the US, will let you ask the voice assistant to "Order delivery from Pizza Hut," and it'll show you the menu or suggest drinks. When you have your order together, you can select to pay from your saved wallet information.
Google also announced on Wednesday that Android now has two-ruddy-billion active users. µ
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