As Voicebot Predicted, Google Has Replaced Legacy Voice Search on Mobile with Google Assistant, Including Google and Chrome Apps on iOS
Google has replaced its legacy voice search feature with Google Assistant in its Google mobile apps on Android and iOS and for the Chrome app on iOS. For Android, the persistent Google Assistant search bar widget has the Google Assistant logo but the Google app retains the familiar microphone icon despite now using Google Assistant in the background.
The Google and Chrome apps for iOS still have the legacy microphone icon as well, but when you touch it, a blank Google Assistant screen activates with Assistant’s four colored listening dots that activate into dynamic vertical bars when you speak. The same four listening dots now appear for Google app searches on Android. You can see from the images below that the searches also yield the same results on both Android and iOS.
9to5 Google reported last week that the Google app on Android had replaced the legacy voice search with Google Assistant search and now suggests saying “Hey Google” to start a search. Voicebot analysis suggests the change is farther reaching than previously reported and includes both Chrome and Google apps on iOS and likely Chrome on Android as well. A Google spokesperson responded to Voicebot’s inquiry about these unreported changes only by saying, “We are constantly experimenting with new ways to improve the user experience, but we have no further details to share at this time.” That could be construed as confirmation.
Voice Assistants Taking Over Search
Voicebot predicted this shift in a July report titled Voice Assistant SEO Report for Brands. The 40-page analysis and 25 charts were generated based on a nationwide consumer survey combined with asking over 4,000 questions to Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, and Siri. Data for household brand names showed that traditional SEO was having little impact on voice assistant based search results. Voicebot researchers suggested that all voice search will soon migrate to using the assistants as the pre-existing solutions are unnecessarily redundant and not receiving the same level of investment from the platform providers. Google appears to be making that transition now.
One voice search channel that appears unaffected by these changes is using Chrome on desktop. That seems to still be using the legacy voice search which is much more closely aligned with text-based search results. Another difference in results for the mobile apps that have shifted to Google Assistant is that instead of only supplying links as results, voice search through mobile clients now will sometimes return audible responses in addition to visual results. However, the more important change is the rapid migration of all legacy voice search to the voice assistants.
You can reach more about how voice assistants are transforming search here: Read Report