Google’s iOS search app has recently added a new feature that is very similar to Apple’s Siri voice assistant. Taking cues from Google Now, its Siri rival, the company revealed users will now be able to make searches using natural voice commands. The updated app was supposed to hit the App Store in a couple of days, but now, two weeks later, there is still no word on it.
Google reportedly submitted the software for review a week before the event, meaning Apple has been approving the title for a total of three weeks. According to a Google rep, the online search giant hasn’t heard anything from Apple during that time. When the company refuses to admit an app to the App Store, it usually provides a developer with detailed explanations of what has to be changed. It isn’t clear if the iPhone maker is trying to quench Siri competition or just taking its time.
Three years ago, Apple similarly discarded Google Voice and other third-party apps. Although the Federal Communications Commission launched a probe to investigate the flop, all was formally cleared. Apple successfully argued that the app essentially replaced the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality with its own phone call, texting and voicemail interface. The company may possibly be readying a similar bombshell to drop on Google Now.
The functionality officially debuted in the latest Android OS version, Jelly Bean. Looking for repeated user patterns like location and calendar appointments, Google Now offers more relevant info than Siri, and that’s a general opinion.
Building the tech into its iOS search app seems to be a natural move for Google. Since Siri is rather limited in its functions, other companies have started developing their own solutions of the kind. One of such experiments was Nina, announced earlier this month, a speech-to-text SDK capable to identify the speaker and rid passwords.