The Google assistant is finally in the Netherlands, at least for iOS devices. After the rollout ‘started’ last week, iOS users had to wait for a while, but today the app can finally be downloaded. After some experimentation the conclusion is quite simple: it can be done. Google Assistant may in theory do more than Siri can, but without a good way to call the assistant that does not matter.
The main problem of the assistant is that you can not activate it with your voice. Activating via your voice with ‘ok Google’ only works on Android devices and because iOS does not allow this (at least until they are tapped by Margrethe Vestager ) you first have to open the app to ask for something . That immediately excludes all dexterity, although it does not mean that the app can get off your phone right away. It is useful anyway if you find it more pleasant not to talk to your assistant but prefer to type or use suggestions.
How do you do something?
If you really want to use the Google assistant, you can set up the app as a widget. If you never did that: swipe right from the home screen, scroll down and press the bottom of the screen to set your widgets or press ‘change’ to add the assistant. Then you still can not immediately speak to the assistant, but at least you are only two swipes / pushes away from the conversation.
Ideally it will not be, but that way you can at least use the smarter assistant of the two. There are already a number of Dutch companies that have provided services for the assistant such as KLM, PostNL, Buienradar, the NOS and various banks. That in itself is a good start for the assistant, although for many people it will be a lot more interesting if the Google Home speakers come on the market in the Netherlands.
They have to wait a little longer, but they should be there before the end of the year. As long as Amazon does not make a Dutch version of Alexa and Apple does not release the Homepod before the end of the year, Google is the only one that officially launched all parts of the talking assistant in the Netherlands on that moment.