Google Assistant

Last modified
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Member of the AppleVis Blog Team
Category

Description of App

Meet your Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help.

Whether you need a reminder to pick up milk, help finding your travel photos or need to make a dinner reservation, your Assistant is ready to help. To get started, press the mic icon or start typing.

Some things your Assistant can help with:
- Make quick phone calls (e.g. "Call Mom.")
- Send text messages (e.g. "Text my bestie.")
- Send emails (e.g. "Email your boss the latest TPS report.")
- Set reminders (e.g. "Remind me to buy a birthday gift for Sarah.")
- Set calendar events (e.g. "Set a calendar event for dinner with Charlie tomorrow from 7-9.")
- Play music (e.g. "Play Jazz music on Youtube.")
- Navigate to places (e.g. "Get me directions home.")
- Ask it anything (e.g. "Will I need an umbrella today?")

Version

1.0.609

Free or Paid

Free

Apple Watch Support

No

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone

iOS Version

10.3.2

Accessibility Comments

At the time of this writing, the Google Assistant for iOS isn't as accessible and polished as its Google Search counterpart. For instance, if you say the phrase "OK Google," you won't always here the sound indicating the activation of the microphone. Sometimes that sound is also played with a very low volume. Furthermore, the Google Assistant sometimes feels rather sluggish when swiping around -- especially while swiping from the Open microphone button at the bottom leftwards.

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

There are some minor accessibility issues with this app, but they are easy to deal with.

Other Comments

If you're willing to deal with the relatively minor issues I mentioned above, the experience of using the Google Assistant will be quite refreshing. Just hope the access issues are taken care of by Google.

Recommendations

2 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Amir 3 years 6 months ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Remy on Friday, May 19, 2017

This will likely be a frequent question, but what advantage does this app have to the native SIRI? I mean, SIRI is far from perfect, but it works pretty well overall.

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, May 19, 2017

Hi. I was trying to play the lucky game, and other things, and it doesn't seem to work that well. Mabe they need accessibility help there too or it could be me. ;) I'll close the app and try again. as for the person wanting to know about siri, I'd rather use this as Siri continuously just sits there, they are lackluster with updating it, like voice over, they only update it with the new IOS versions. If they got behind it which they might, thanks to the Home, Echo and such, maybe they'll even out the competition. I'm not knocking siri so much as saying they need more work.

Submitted by Jordan on Friday, May 19, 2017

I just downloaded Google Assistant last night, and no problems with it as far as I can tell. Siri is getting so unresponsive that Apple needs to do something about it that is for sure.

Submitted by D25 on Friday, May 19, 2017

Loving the app. I really couldn't wait for google assistant to come to IPhone when it first launched, siri is just awful. Well it's fine for general tasks, but it's the assistant from 2011 that is good for phonecalls and texts.
One problem I've had with the google app is that it kept asking what music service I wanted to use. One time I clicked on apple music just to see what would happen (I don't have an account with apple music though). Now every time I ask it to play music it tries to do it with apple music and I can't find a setting to change it back and telling it to always use youtube verbally also doesn't work. Am I missing something?

Submitted by JeffB on Friday, May 19, 2017

It works fine for me. Although it seems to be running off the earpiece at times. This is really cool though.

Submitted by Remy on Friday, May 19, 2017

Just searched for this on the app store, but while I found plenty of Google apps, this was not among them. Is it one of those cases where licensing restrictions say "Sowwy, too bad"?

Submitted by Apple Khmer on Saturday, May 20, 2017

I asked the Google Assistant if it thought it was better than Siri. It said "Siri's great! But I'm a bit more Googley."

Submitted by Jeff on Saturday, May 20, 2017

I asked The Google Assistant if she knew Alexa. She said that Alexa has a nice voice.

Submitted by Jeff on Saturday, May 20, 2017

I've 2 questions.

First, When I first launched the Assistant (TGA) I was presented with a screen to allow a bunch of data collection options. How are most of you answering this? Are you allowing or disallowing these settings and why?

Second, I'm wondering if I know how to use this app. I launch the app then have to find the microphone button to turn it on. Is there an easier way? For instance, can the app be configured to open the mic when the app is launched? Are there any other tips for getting the most out of this app?

Submitted by Apple Khmer on Saturday, May 20, 2017

After reading what these settings would and won't collect, I allowed the app to collect the data. I want the app to work as efficiently as possible.

Submitted by JeffB on Saturday, May 20, 2017

You don't have to use the mic. Just say Okay Google.

Submitted by Dawn on Saturday, May 20, 2017

Too bad this app isn't compatible with my device. O well, hopefully, it'll be updated to include more devices for compatibility soon! I've been wanting to play with this ever since I first heard about it! Maybe 1 day soon!...

Submitted by Troy on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I will have to say that Siri is becoming the worst assistant, she can't even do the things as the others do. Of course she can do the basic things but apple needs to do a lot of things with her like for example all of the other assistants have the ability to really sing, tell jokes, etc. Siri doesn't even know how to do those things and her jokes are stupid.

Submitted by Kiran Kaja on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hi All, I am a Technical Program Manager on the Search and Assistant team at Google and responsible for Accessibility. I am happy to see that a number of you have tried the Google Assistant app for iOS and also the Google Search App. I am going to forward the feedback from your posts to the engineering team. I will also answer some of the questions raised here. I look forward to more feedback on the Google Assistant and the Google Search apps on iOS.

Thanks,
Kiran

I will be sure to post a comment here once the Google Assistant app is available in more countries.

Kiran
TPM for Search and Assistant Accessibility at Google

If you are interested in trying the lucky trivia game, you may want to try disabling the audio ducking feature in VoiceOver for a while. But I will work with the team to see if there is a solution to work around the audio ducking.

Kiran
TPM for Search and Assistant Accessibility at Google

You should be able to change your default music provider from Assistant Settings. Go to Open your stuff and explore > menu > Settings > Music where you will be able to change your default music provider.

Kiran
TPM for Search and Assistant Accessibility at Google

Submitted by Kiran Kaja on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In reply to by Remy

I will post a comment here when it is available in more countries...

Kiran
TPM for Search and Assistant Accessibility at Google

Submitted by JeffB on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hi Kiran I really like this app so far! Is there a way to turn off the profanity filter? I was not able to find that. I'd also wish I could put this on my iPod.
Thanks!

Jeff

When you have the Google Assistant app open, there are a few ways to activate the Assistant and speak to it:

1. Say "Ok Google"
2. Use VoiceOver magic tap (2 finger double tap) anywhere in the app provided it is possible to open the mic there.
3. Double tap the "Open mic" button.

Use whatever method suits you...

Kiran
TPM for Search and Assistant Accessibility at Google

Submitted by Kiran Kaja on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Looks like that setting isn't available on iOS at the moment. I will check and get back to you.

Submitted by JeffB on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cool thanks!

Submitted by D25 on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hi. I go into my stuff, menu, then settings but i don't see anything called music

Submitted by Jesse Anderson on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I've been using Google Assistant off and on now since its release. Being a Google Music and Google Home user as well, it's pretty handy. I have noticed a few bugs though.

Sometimes when asking a question, Google's answer is very quiet, likely due to VO audio ducking or something.

There are also some responses that put information in a horizontal row of answers that can be swiped across. These don't work right with VoiceOver. for instance, try asking for a list of nearby pizza places. I can read the first couple of entries, but when VO is on, any off screen results aren't read even when sswiping left and right. When I turn VO off, I can swipe left and right and see many more results reported. Answers that use these horizontal results need a little fixing.

I did find the list of Music Providers, but it was unclear which one is selected. I double tap with VO enabled, and it says Selected, then not selected, so I just double tap Google Music a few times and hope that worked.

Now if only Apple would allow alternative default app and assistants, like it does alternative keyboards.

Siri is getting pretty dumb. I tried asking it for an address of a local theater this weekend, and it never worked. Google got it first try. You'd think something like that would be pretty straight forward to get right.

Submitted by D25 on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hi. How are you all finding the music providers. The assistant originally asked me which service I would like to use when I first asked it to play music. I chose Apple Music but now I can't find where to change it back to YouTube as I don't actually have Apple Music. I can't see anything in settings called Music, and when I asked the assistant to play music now it just plays with Apple Music or at least tries to

Submitted by JeffB on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The app sometimes does not make the sound that indicates that the mic is on. I have audio ducking turned off and this still happens. This happened for me in Lucky Trivia when it asked for the number of players. That is the one time I noticed it.

Submitted by CJ on Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Half the time on this app and the Google Search app, I get an extremely low volume during the response. Sometimes it gets louder as it goes on, sometimes not. Don't have this problem with Google Maps. I never use audio ducking, so can't be that.

If they could get this fixed, I would love the app.

Submitted by Jordan on Thursday, May 25, 2017

I would so replace Siri with Google Assistant, and for quite a few things, I only use Google Assistant for since Siri is so unresponcive or says something completely ridiculous. If Apple would get behind Siri fully and update it, maybe it would be able to edge out Google Assistant, but being a Google user for everything, I like having everything all in one place.

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Monday, September 4, 2017

hi their, to the person who says they work on accessibility of the google assistant app, please forward this to the devs. when opening this app and trying to use it now, voiceover behaves very very sluggishly with the google assistant app. when flicking right or left, it has a delay of up to ten seconds some times, between the sound of the flick and voiceover speaking what you have landed on. this needs fixing asap.

Submitted by Kelly Ford on Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hello,

I just tried this app today and am finding that reading with VoiceOver is rough at times. When I try and navigate by heading, I'm told there are no headings, despite the fact some do exist. Also, it seems focus with VO often gets sent back to the top of all the text in this app. What are others finding lately?

Submitted by Sabrina Mari F… on Thursday, September 13, 2018

I looked for the app now and it is in swedish. So it works here now. The only thing I cannot seem to do is play the games. I hope this will be implimented.

Submitted by Lee on Friday, September 14, 2018

All, for info this is now available in the UK. However, unlike in the US it looks like you still cannot post to Facebook. You can post to Twitter though. I'd hoped after Siri removed the ability to post via voice to FB this may have been a get around. It seems not unless I'm missing something. Has anyone tried in the UK to do this and it worked?

Submitted by Sabrina Mari F… on Saturday, October 13, 2018

Just realized there is a widget for this app. I am using the widget.

Hi what I can tell you from my experience is that when your playing games with Google assistant you don’t have to but you can.
But the reason why you should keep VoiceOver on is because you won’t get a verbal response you may run into situations where Google Assistant will just display the answers to queries visually on screen in situations like these it’s helpful to keep Voiceover enabled.

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