Google Assistant doesn’t appear to be a big hit with iPhone owners.
Other estimates are less flattering: Data from fellow analytics firm Sensor Tower provided to Business Insider says the app had garnered just 190,000 downloads on iOS as of Friday.
Google made the Assistant available as a standalone app on iOS devices this past May. The app is only available in the US thus far, and third-party estimates should always be taken with a grain of salt — but even with that said, the estimates are low enough to make demand for Google’s Siri rival appear fairly meager.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Both estimates paint a similar picture of the app’s trajectory: It started with a solid spike in downloads before levelling off sharply a couple of weeks after it launched.
In an email, an App Annie spokesperson said Google Assistant’s figures and download patterns have been similar to that of Google Allo, the Assistant-aided chat app Google launched to little fanfare on iOS last fall.
Sensor Tower’s estimates, meanwhile, peg the Assistant as the 26th most-downloaded Google app for the iPhone in the US since it launched. The app has averaged between 1,000 and 2,000 downloads per day since the second week of June, according to Randy Nelson, the firm’s head of mobile insights.
Here’s how Sensor Tower lays out the app’s daily downloads since launch:
That the iOS version of Google Assistant isn’t lighting the world on fire isn’t necessarily a surprise or even an indictment of the Assistant itself. Past studies have said it’s more knowledgeable than peers like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, and we’ve found it to compare favourably to the other major players — though every voice assistant continues to have issues with reliability and interoperability from time to time.
The fact that Google Assistant is available at all on iOS is still a boon for those who use Assistant-ready devices but don’t own an Android device, where Google Assistant is integrated on a deeper level. And in many ways, Google’s goal with the Assistant is to bypass the smartphone altogether; there’s the Google Home speaker, for one, but the company also made it possible for developers to build Google Assistant into other smart devices earlier this year.
From a product perspective, Google’s main hangup on iOS is that Apple makes accessing the Assistant (or any third-party assistant) more cumbersome than using Siri. While Siri can be accessed at any time by holding down the home button or saying “Hey Siri,” Google Assistant requires you to open its app to work. The app also can’t perform some simple tasks, like setting alarms, as a result of it being a third-party service.
Google’s helper is still able to link up with more outside services and smart home devices than Siri, but its seemingly mediocre download numbers suggest most iPhone users either don’t need those kind of advanced features from a voice assistant just yet, or don’t want to bother with opening a separate app to use them.
Either way, iPhone owners are a sizable base in the US. If Google’s goal is to make the Assistant ubiquitous, it looks like it still has a ways to go to make its brand of voice tech something people are willing to go out of their way for.
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