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How to get Google Assistant on your iPhone

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Image: Conner Forrest/TechRepublic

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced at the 2017 I/O developer conference that the Google Assistant was coming to Apple’s iPhone. The addition of Google’s AI-based digital voice assistant gives iPhone users disenchanted with Siri a new option, and keeps them more connected to Google’s ecosystem of products and services.

Google Assistant is available through the Apple App Store, and is easy to download and setup. Here are a few simple steps to help you get the Google Assistant installed on your iPhone.

SEE: Google Assistant: The smart person’s guide

First, you need to download the app from the App Store. Tap on the blue App Store app icon on your iPhone’s home screen, then tap on the Search tab at the bottom of the screen. On the search page, type “Google Assistant” into the search bar at the top.

assistant1.jpg

assistant1.jpg

It’s important to note that the first search result may not be what you’re looking for (it wasn’t for me). So, scroll until you see the icon in the above image, and tap GET next to the app.

Once you tap GET, the icon will change to the word INSTALL in green. Tap the green INSTALL. At this point you’ll need to authenticate. You will be prompted to enter your Apple ID password, or your fingerprint through Touch ID, if you’ve enabled that feature for the App Store.

Once the app has finished installing, the INSTALL button will change to read OPEN. From here, you can tap the OPEN icon, or back out to the home screen and tap the app icon to open the app.

assistant2.jpg

assistant2.jpg

When you open the app, you will need to login with your primary Google account. If you already have an app that uses a Google account, Google Assistant may present that account email at the bottom of the screen with a blue button that says CONTINUE AS ______. If you want to use that account, tap the blue CONTINUE AS ______ button. If not, select a new Google account and enter your login credentials.

Next, you’ll be asked to give Google Assistant permission to access certain data about your iPhone and your web and app activity. To find out more about each type of data, tap on the downward facing arrow next to the data type.

If you agree to give the app access, tap the blue YES I’M IN button on the bottom right. If you refuse to give the app permissions, tap No Thanks on the bottom left. Note: If you tap No Thanks, Google Assistant will not work as it is supposed to, as it depends on that data to provide contextual information to you.

On the following page, you’re given the opportunity to opt in (the default option) or opt out of receiving emails about new features for Google Assistant. If you want to opt in, leave the slider to the right. If you want to opt out, tap the slider to move it to the left. Then, tap NEXT at the bottom.

Now, you should be all set up to use Google Assistant. To make a voice inquiry, tap the microphone icon at the bottom middle of the screen. To use text input, tap the grey keyboard icon on the bottom right. When you first tap the microphone, the app will ask for permission to access your iPhone’s microphone. You must grant this access if you want to use the voice input on the app.

assistant3.jpg

assistant3.jpg

There is also a blue icon on the top right of the screen. Tap that icon to access two pages, EXPLORE and YOUR STUFF. Explore shows links and tips for things you can do with the Assistant, while Your Stuff will show you the reminders you’ve set, your agenda, a shopping list, and shortcuts.

From this screen, there is also a three-dot icon to the right of the EXPLORE and YOUR STUFF tabs. Tap this icon to access your account information, settings, activity, help, and more. From here you can change the account associated with your Google Assistant by tapping Account, or add payments or shared devices through Settings.

Congratulations, you’ve installed Google Assistant. You’re one step closer to kissing Siri goodbye, or simply staying better connected to your other Google products and services.

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