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Comparing Google Assistant on iOS and Android

May 22, 2017

Google brought their Google Assistant to iOS and they claim it brings all the functionality of the Assistant along with it. Today we put that to the test.

As you can see in the video, the Google Assistant app for the iPhone does a great job of keeping up with the Android version. There are some system-level things that Google just can’t pull off just yet on iOS, such as:

  • Setting alarms: Assistant simply can’t do it and it will politely tell you it can’t set alarms on iOS
  • Setting timers: Assistant can set timers, but it doesn’t have access to the iOS Clock app, and therefore has worse timers. Instead of your phone ringing until you stop it, the Assistant app gives you a single notification that says your timer is done, and it’s easy to miss or ignore
  • Open other apps: When I asked Assistant to open the Settings app on Android, it hopped me out of the Assistant and opened the Settings app on my phone. When I asked it to do the same thing on iOS, it opened the settings page in the Assistant app. Not exactly what I’m looking for. I did notice that Google has built in support for opening Google’s own apps. So I can’t say “Ok Google, open Safari”, but I can say “open Chrome” and it will do that for me. The same is true of Maps, YouTube, Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and more.

But despite these limits, there is a lot of power here in the Google Assistant for iOS, and it’s a great compliment to Siri on any iPhone. You can download Google Assistant for iOS from the App Store.