Google Assistant’s Redundant Android App Has Been Installed 100 Million Times
The Google Assistant app has been installed more than 100 million times from the Play Store on Android devices, despite its native presence on the devices. As spotted by Android Police, the entirely redundant voice assistant app has become immensely popular since Google published it almost three years ago.
Assistant on Assistant
The Play Store doesn’t say the precise number of installations, only that it’s more than 100 million. The comparatively tiny 255,000 reviews only give the voice assistant a rating of 4.1 stars on average, suggesting there’s a large silent majority that likes it a lot without feeling enthusiastic enough to review it. There are a couple of reasons that might explain why so many people would install the standalone app on a device that already includes it. The only practical purpose for downloading the app separately is that it offers a way to pull up the voice assistant’s settings without having to navigate sub-menus on the phone, but it’s hard to believe tens of millions of people knew and wanted to save themselves a few seconds that way. Some may find it more convenient to have the icon on the screen as opposed to using the squeeze or voice activation method of activating the voice assistant.
The most obvious answer is simply that many don’t know Google Assistant is already a part of their device and so they go to find it on the Play Store. That would explain a lot of the reviews, both positive and negative. One-star reviews tend to be complaints about the voice assistant not working in general, not about the app, while the five-star reviews talk about how Google Assistant has made their lives easier in some way, in between more than a few romantic declarations about the AI and its voice.
The difference in how Google Assistant is rated on the Apple App Store for iOS bolsters the theory that most people don’t realize they have Google Assistant pre-installed on Android. The iOS store offers different statistics, with no mention of installs, but Google Assistant is ranked 53 under the utility category and has a mere 37,000 ratings, although a higher average rating of 4.7 stars. It makes sense that it would be less popular on a device with Siri built-in and without a stand-alone app. On the other hand, Google Home is quite popular at number five on the lifestyle app list and a 4.5 average rating in 323,000 reviews. And while Amazon Alexa matches the 4.7 stars of Google Assistant on iOS, it comes from 1.9 million ratings and sits at number four on the lifestyle list. Alexa is even winning in ratings on Android, with a 4.5 star average from 345,000 reviews, although it lags on installations at between 50 million and 100 million on a platform where Google has a home-field advantage.