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Google challenges Apple's Siri by opening digital assistant to iPhone

18 May, 2017, 01:14 | Author: Abraham Jackson

The announcement heralds a step by Google, whose Android system runs on the majority of the world's smartphones, to get a foothold on Apple's phones, which have smaller market share but are used by people who tend to spend more on technology. Similar to the smart sharing features in Apple's Clips app, Google Photos will identify the subjects in your photos and suggest sharing the images with those people.

Ahead of I/O, Google is showing off its next step in automotive software: an Android version of touchscreen auto consoles and infotainment systems.

Attendees at the Google I/O 2017 Conference.

The high-end Google VR headset will operate alongside Google's Daydream VR, which it unveiled during last year's Google I/O. And today the company announced its entire Wi-Fi connected appliance lineup, which includes dishwashers, stoves, laundry machines, fridges, and even water heaters, will now work with Google Assistant and Google Home. Users can also now type requests to Google Assistant on their smartphone, if they don't want to be overheard.

Android Things is now on its fourth developer preview and with it brings support for the Google Assistant SDK on all certified development boards. It's essentially a super-powered version of Google Goggles that does way more than just do a search based on what you take a photo of.

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The report says that it will be presented as a "free, standalone app" that can be downloaded from the App Store.

Last year, we got more details on the OS that eventually became Android Nougat, a look at Google's Daydream VR platform and the Google Assistant, as well as a glimpse at Google Home.

Making Google Assistant available on iPhone means Google is pretty confident even Apple acolytes will convert from Siri to Assistant if they are given a taste of what Google has to offer. Unlike with Google Home or the Google Pixel, however, users won't be able to launch Google Assistant using a voice command without having the app open in front of them, which limits how useful and hands-free it can be. Google's DayDream VR platform propelled in 2016 I/O event and keeping in mind that it was an attempt to enhance the nature of portable VR encounters, the effect has been constrained. The report claims that the new VR device will be able to run independent of a mobile or desktop computing system, but it is unclear whether it will run Android or any other operating system.

The event is being held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California. You can also expect easier-to-manage notifications, a picture-in-picture mode like than seen on Android TV and a handful of security improvements, including an update to Android WebView.

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