If you’ve ever wished your Android phone could do all the fancy things iPhones can with Siri, you’re in luck.
Google has announced it will roll out its Siri-like ‘Google Assistant’ software to all Android phones running versions 6.0 (Marshmallow) or 7.0 (Nougat), first across the US, then to Australia, the UK, Canada, and Germany.
Any phone purchased in the last 18 months is likely to be running the newer versions of Android and therefore will be able to take advantage of the new features rolling out. Older phones that have been updated recently will also likely support the software.
Announcing the news on its blog, Google says Assistant is “conversational, personal and helps you get things done—from telling you about your day to taking a selfie”.
Assistant functions in a similar way to Siri, but includes features similar to those seen in Amazon’s home assistant device Alexa. Google suggests asking Assistant things like “Do I need an umbrella today?” or “What’s my confirmation number for my London flight?”.
Google pushes the “conversational” aspect of Assistant as a selling point over competitors like Siri. Users can ask a question of Assistant, then ask it several follow up questions. The app will track all the questions that have been asked to generate a conversational, and provide answers with context of previous questions asked.
For SME owners always on the go, this new rollout could let you get things done quicker and easier, without you having to pick up your phone.
The app syncs with a number of other apps, such as PayPal or Spotify, letting users play music or send payments by using voice commands. It also comprehends simple commands, like “Remind me to buy a bag of grapes” or “who invented sushi?”.