The announcement heralds a step by Google, whose Android operating system runs on the majority of the world’s smartphones, to get a foothold on Apple’s phones, which have smaller market share but are used by people who tend to spend more on technology.
It comes as Google, Apple and Amazon.com are competing to establish dominance in the voice-powered digital assistant segment, which many in the industry believe will supplant keyboards and touch screens as a primary way that users interact with technology.
Speaking at an annual developer conference in Mountain View, California, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai touted the company’s progress with the Google Assistant, which allows users to complete various tasks through voice commands. He claimed that Assistant is now available more than 100 million devices.
“Humans are interacting with computing in more natural and immersive ways,” he said. “We’ve been using voice as an input across many of our products. We’ve had significant breakthroughs.”
Google Assistant which debuted last year on Google’s own hardware, is now available across more than 100 million devices.
Google, that gets most of its revenue from its dominant search engine, also released a host of new features for Google Home, a speaker released last year. Users will soon be able to make hands free phone calls using the device, and support for services like SoundCloud, Deezer, Spotify (free) and HBO Now streaming service.