Google opens up digital assistant to iPhone

Gwen Vasquez
May 18, 2017

Sadly, Assistant will have limited functionality and will not work so flawlessly as it does on Android phones. Scott Huffman, VP of engineering for Assistant, announced the plans at the Google I/O conference keynote address near the company's global headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google has posted some additional information about the new version of Android O. This version is marked as the Android O Developer Preview 2.

Tech companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon are competing to establish the dominant voice-powered digital assistant, which many in the industry believe will supplant keyboards and touch screens as a primary way that users interact with technology. It "understands what you're looking at and helps you take action", according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. This is pretty handy so I can imagine many people actually using this feature rather letting it sit and die. Google promises that soon, its camera app will be able to magically remove obstructions from a photo, putting what matters most front and center.

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In addition, the company announced that it will offer physical photo albums through its photo app.

Assistant will also get a boost from the new Google Lens image-recognition AI, which will be integrated into the system to introduce a new visual component to the feature, allowing it to use images to do things like set up events in your calendar.

"Google was putting forward a message about artificial intelligence and how they are including the technology in virtually every aspect of their products and services", said analyst Brian Blau of Gartner.

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