Google’s found a way to make Apple’s Siri drive its competitor to Siri and by doing so made its hardware more accessible to iPhone and iPad owners and far more attractive to Australians.
iOS 12 added a new feature called Siri Shortcuts that lets Apple’s voice assistant drive other apps on iPhones and iPads. Google has had an iOS app for its Assistant for many months but earlier this week added support for Siri shortcuts.
Doing so means that Siri users can utter the command “Siri, OK Google” and Siri will get the Google Assistant app ready to respond to voice commands.
To make matters even more complex, Siri les you customise the phrase you use to open an app, so users could set “Siri, Open Cortana” as the phrase to drive the Google Assistant app.
Which is rather amusing.
More serious is that this move by Google gives it a better chance to have iOS users adopt its smart speakers and other hardware, which use Assistant as their interface.
Apple’s $499 HomePod is thought to substantially trail Google and Amazon in the smart speaker market, but Apple dominates Australia’s smartphone market.
Google’s therefore just given plenty of iPhone owners a reason to consider its smart speakers and other home gadgetry. And with the Google Home Mini’s price falling to $38 – less than half its $79 sticker price – on at least one Black Friday sale, Google is clearly gunning for Australian homes.
And now Siri can help it get a foot in the door.