Google launches Siri-like search for iOS; has as many apps as Apple now

Tori Floyd
The Right ClickOctober 31, 2012

It looks like four years of hard work is really paying off for Google as the company made two announcements on Tuesday which show the Android platform is becoming a growing threat to Apple's iOS.

Seeking to take on Apple's Siri voice-search software, which was a key feature to draw in customers to the iPhone 4S and 5, Google has released its enhanced voice search service for iOS, CNET reports.

Available now in the App Store, Google Search now lets you search the web with voice commands on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Like Siri, the app speaks the results back to you. The voice enhancement comes as an update to the pre-existing Google Search app for iOS, which also improve compatibility with the iPhone 5.

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The voice search won't have quite the same functionality as Siri, of course, as it isn't integrated with built-in apps in iOS, like Mail and Calendar, the same way Siri is. However CNET reports that Google is planning to build the voice search integration into some of its other products like Calendar and Drive, but there aren't specific dates for those yet.

To see what enhanced voice search is like, check out this video from Google:

While that might not be enough to make Apple nervous on its own, another tidbit revealed the same day might be: the Google Play store now has as many apps as the Apple App Store.

For years, the argument many made for sticking with Apple and resisting the increasing lure of Android devices was the selection of apps available. And while there are still plenty of apps available exclusively for iOS devices, now it seems like Android has caught up.

The Google Play Store offers 700,000 mobile apps for Android, which is the same amount as the App Store, Complex Tech reports.

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Back in September, Google announce it had crossed the 25 billion download mark, while Apple reached that milestone earlier this year, in February.

The dwindling differences between the Google Play and Apple App stores might also explain why there's been a slight drop this year in the number of devout Apple fans in both the U.S. and Europe. A survey looking at brand loyalty towards Apple found that only 88 per cent of iPhone owners said they would buy an Apple smartphone in the future, BGR reports, versus 93 per cent last year. In Europe, a similar trend is emerging, with only 75 per cent of current iPhone owners saying they'd buy another Apple smartphone, versus 88 per cent the previous year.

Android is already the most popular mobile OS in Canada, but as the differences between the two begin to dwindle, that lead could become a lot more commanding.

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