Android enthusiasts will have to buy the new Pixel or XL phones if they want Google Assistant, an AI-based assistant for Android 7.0. This could be a marketing strategy to entice consumers, but until we test it out, we can’t know for certain if this new implementation by Google is worth paying a premium for the Pixel. Although users already have access to Google now, Assistant is a new push from Google, providing a more streamlined, intelligent, and quicker feedback from the AI. It will also be used in the Google Home and Chromecast devices, creating a “Google-based” home. Assistant will have an impact on Allo, also an AI-powered texting service. It will offer responses to texts based on your previous texts, search up whatever you want in the messaging app (movie tickets, showing times, restaurants, etc.), and allow the user to chat directly with the AI program google has developed.
Pixel users will also have access to unlimited photos and video storage in the cloud, providing yet another reason to switch over to Google’s new flagship line.
After creating Google Now, Android has introduced a program that is vastly more useful than Siri. Google Assistant, we hope, should push even more barriers and blow Apple out of the water. In our experience, Siri does not compare to Google Now. Siri is integrated into all of its devices now, including the Macbook, iPad, and iPhone. All of these devices are connected through Apple’s ecosystem, saving previous Siri searches and usage. Siri has some very good search capabilities, but the actual talking back and interaction with the AI helper is a bit lacklustre. Google Now, however, utilising all of its “Googliness”, is a powerhouse. It helps with anything one can think of, including alarms, calls, texts, to even harder questions that Siri or even Cortana can answer.
In this study by GSMArena, Google now out-answers Siri by 7.5% and Cortana by 21.6%. This gap should increase with the introduction of Assistant. For now, users without the Pixel will still enjoy a great experience with Google Now.
The Android ecosystem has come a long way since its fro-yo days, implementing new features that Apple has utilised in their OS. One feature that Apple introduced first, however, was Siri, the first generation AI assistant tailored towards the general consumer.
Written by Luke Choi