Culture

Sneaky Google App Update Lets You Dump Siri From Your iPhone

"Hey Siri, get outta here!"

It’s only been seven years since Siri made her first appearance on the iPhone 4S and whilst she was arguably the first ubiquitous artificial assistant, a whole mess of imitators have since cropped up.

These days, if TV ads are anything to go by anyway, homes across the world are not only hearing “Hey Siri” but “OK Google” “Oi Alexa” “Cortana, run a bath” and “Xbox, what’s this red spot on my gooch?” in equal measure.

As we inch closer and closer to the tech singularity where our entire lives are controlled by one corporate sponsored government app, not all of these AIs will survive and competition amongst these formless robot entities continues to heat up.

Google’s very own Android-based Assistant is generally considered the main competitor to Apple’s Siri but up until recently the voice assistant you used was restricted entirely to the device you owned. Not too long ago, however, Google Assistant popped up on the iOS store offering limited functionality to iPhone owners who maybe had had enough of Siri’s cheek.

In a new update to the app this week though, Google has added support for Siri shortcuts, meaning if you really, REALLY have had enough of Siri, you can pretty much punt her from your life forever and nestle into the warm, glowing, warming glow of Google Assistant forever.

Even though it’s all above board and seems to have been allowed by the big dogs over at Apple, it’s a pretty ballsy move from Google, and a fairly unprecedented offering in an industry that usually has stark divisions between competing brands.

To activate the new Siri override, you merely have to update the Google Assistant app to the latest version and then set a recording of “OK Google” as a Siri shortcut to it. What this means is anytime you drop that new line into Siri the answer will instead come from Google.

Screenshot of the app via The Verge.

Whilst this shortcut jumps straight to Google’s app if you use the manual button approach, going via handsfree voice activation means you’ll still need to say “Hey Siri” first followed by “Ok Google” and then whatever prompt you require. Which, if you’re by yourself is kinda annoying but if you’re out in public it may also make you look just a little bit insane.

Siri and Google Assistant pretty much offer the same experience and functionality these days so this move seems to be most appealing to Android fans who are forced to use an iOS device for work or the like, but is still an interesting development in the ongoing AI wars that will no doubt see the extinction of us all.

h/t The Verge