Google just gave us reason to believe that Google Assistant will soon be available on Apple’s iPhone.
“I do not think we have anything to announce at this point. But I think the general philosophy is that we would like to have the Assistant available to as many people as possible,” said Google product management director Gummi Hafsteinsson at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This statement is consistent with the fact that Google has been aggressively rolling out Google Assistant to many different products including Google Home, Android Auto and other non-Pixel Android phones from HTC, LG, Motorola and more. Apple’s iOS software does already include Siri and doesn’t technically allow other voice assistants but Google has gotten around this by building Google Now, the predecessor to Google Assistant, into their core search app. They would presumably push Google Assistant out to iOS users via the Google Search app.
In addition the the Google Search app, Google might bake Google Assistant into Gboard. Gboard is the smart keyboard that has infiltrated iOS by being usable in any third party app on Apple’s platform. It already has Google Search built into the keyboard and adding a button for Google Assistant would be a logical next step. This would instantly expose their smart assistant to millions of Apple users who are already using their keyboard. This is a genius way of getting non-Android users to use Google products and should have Apple worried. Google Assistant is already more advanced than Siri because it is conversational and has access the the vast knowledge graph of Google Search. Getting Apple users to try this product through Google Search or Gboard is consistent with Google’s strategy to get their software on as many devices as possible. The more users using the app will make it smarter and more useful because it learns from users interactions with it.