Siri Adds Google Search to Shortcuts
You can do a Google search with Apple’s Siri voice assistant, thanks to the latest update for the Google app on iOS. The app is now accessible with Shortcuts, the custom voice command maker for Siri.
Siri Searching Google
The setup for Siri Google searches is essentially the same as any other Shortcut. The Shortcuts app now offers Google as one of the apps it can connect to. After selecting it and the ‘search’ option, the setup is complete, and users can say “Hey Siri, Search Google for [Blank]” and the Google search app will open and perform that search. It’s the same as when using Siri for searching except that Siri can’t read back the answers, and users will need to actually look at the screen to see what Google found.
Combining Apple’s extensive reach in terms of voice assistant requests with Google’s more familiar search setup theoretically combines the best of both worlds. If anything, it’s surprising it took so long for Shortcuts to add Google’s mobile app, considering Google Assistant for iOS started supporting Shortcuts over a year ago. The addition made it possible to open the Google Assistant app and even begin a Routine. That was a big deal because of how much Apple does to try and keep its apps in-house, limiting access to other options frequently. Like connecting with Google Assistant, including Google Search in Shortcuts helps Apple try to split the difference with Siri by encouraging people who want to use Google Search to stick with Siri-powered mobile devices regardless.
Siri Shortcuts Slowly Expands
Apple has been slow to add options to Siri Shortcuts since it debuted in the summer of 2018. That started to change last year when Apple seemed to refocus on the feature, making it a pre-installed iOS app. Shortcuts were also revamped to make them easier to set up and more intuitive. That was when custom commands and suggestions were added, as opposed to requiring manually recorded phrases.
Shortcuts also added Parameters, which means the voice assistant asks follow-up questions, to carry out multiple procedures in one voice command. It may not be relevant to the Google search command at the moment, but the results of a Google search by voice may lead to other commands for Siri that at least reduce how much the device needs to be looked at to get answers. The improvements were part of Apple’s work to make Siri more competitive and productive as a virtual assistant by making interactions more like a conversation than a series of orders.