Google Assistant to rival Siri

Last year, we heard of a product gong by the name of Majel, said to be Google's rival to the Siri voice control software, the latter doing big business for Apple on the iPhone right now. Originally, there was talk of it launching sooner rather than later to compete with Apple, but all we have so far is a new name – Google Assistant.

That's a step forward from the Star Trek-related original name, but only a small step forward when it comes to challenging Apple. According to TechCrunch, that's not going to happen for quite some time yet, perhaps in late 2012. Although you do wonder whether Google will try and get it into Android 5.0, which is provisionally pitched for a summer 2012 launch.

The delay is perhaps because Google is aiming higher than before, when it was said to be launching a product that worked purely with search. This new report claims Google is now trying to 'get the world’s knowledge into a format a computer can understand', which has got to be a job and a half. On top of that, it also aims to create some kind of personalisation and to build a 'mobile, voice-centered Do engine' (the ‘Assistant’ part) that’s less about returning search results and more about accomplishing 'real-life goals'. Someone (or something) to turn to in order to sort out your dilemma, if you like.

It sounds intriguing, if a little vague. Google also plans to extend the service to developers, so third party apps can make use of Assistant too, something Apple has so far avoided. The fourth quarter of 2012 is the date right now for the new product, but that's very much a loose date. We wouldn't be surprised if Google showed off the technology well ahead of that, purely to grab a few headlines. Because, let's be honest, it certainly would be big news.


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