How to Use Google Assistant on iPhone

Move over Siri, Google Assistant is here!

Photo of hand holding iPhone XS Max with screenshot of Google Assistant actions listed (e.g., Get good news, Topical news, Help, etc.)

 Andy Wolber

Access Google Assistant on your iPhone by saying, “Hey Siri, Hey Google.” Google Assistant on an iPhone can be a handy alternative to Siri, especially when Siri says, “OK. I found something on the web for... “ in response to your query.

Instructions in this article work for iOS 12 and later.

Before we dive in, verify Siri is enabled on your phone. (In most cases, Siri is on by default, but if you need to enable it open Settings > Siri & Search > then turn the Listen for “Hey Siri” slider on.)

3 screenshots: (left) Google Assistant in iOS App Store, (middle) Google Assistant initial start screen, (right) Assistant request to allow Microphone access

Install and Setup the Google Assistant App

  1. To install the Google Assistant app, open the App Store on your iPhone, tap Search in the lower right, enter Google Assistant, tap the blue Search button, then tap Get next to the app to install it. You may need to confirm your download with either a double click of the side button or by authenticating with Touch ID.

  2. Tap the Google Assistant app to open it. If you’ve signed in to another Google app on your iPhone, you may see the option to continue with that account. If not, sign in to Google Assistant with a Google account.

  3. You’ll see a notification that Google Partners work with your Assistant. This option permits the Google Assistant app to interact with connected applications. If you agree, choose Continue.

  4. Next, you’ll see a request to allow Assistant to send you notifications. You may choose either Allow or Don’t Allow. Enable or disable this slider, depending on your email preference.

  5. Google Assistant will then request access to the Microphone, so the system can recognize your spoken requests. Choose OK to allow access. (If you select Don’t Allow, you will limit Assistant to responding to typed requests.)

Assistant will both display and speak a few sample requests. At this point, Assistant is active and configured on your phone. Use Assistant by tapping the app to open it, at which point Assistant will start listening.

3 iPhone Google Assistant screenshots: (left) Personal info settings, (middle) Assistant configuration options, (right) Services selection settings

Tap your Google account icon in the Google Assistant app to configure additional settings. Within the Google Assistant app, customize Personal info (e.g., enter your Home or Work addresses), select Assistant options (e.g., select a different Assistant voice), configure Services (e.g., manage a shopping list or specify music services), or add additional Google Home devices.

Add to Siri to Enable 'Hey Siri, Hey Google'

Next, enable a Siri shortcut phrase that allows you to open the Google Assistant app with that phrase.

There are two ways to add this phrase. One way to add the phrase is to tap the Inbox icon in the lower right corner of the Google Assistant app, then tap the Add to Siri button that displays. This step will open a screen that allows you to choose your phrase. Tap the Type Phrase button, then type Hey Google (or, if you prefer, Ok Google), then tap Done.

The other method is to open Settings > Siri & Search > All Shortcuts. This approach displays all Siri shortcuts available from all of your installed apps. Tap Hey Google, then tap the Type Phrase button, then type either Hey Google or Ok Google, then tap Done.

3 iPhone screenshots: (left) Siri Shortcuts list of all possible app shortcuts, (middle) Add to Siri shortcut (e.g.,

You’ll see the Siri shortcut you created on a screen along with all of your other active Siri shortcuts.

After you've added this shortcut, say “Hey Siri” followed by the phrase you typed. For example, “Hey Siri, Ok Google” triggers your Siri shortcut. Siri displays OK, requested on your iPhone screen, then opens the Google Assistant app.

What You Can Ask Google Assistant on iPhone

In Google Assistant, either tap the microphone icon to talk to the app or tap the keyboard icon and type your question. When you start the app with a spoken “Hey Siri, Ok Google” command, Assistant listens for your request by default.

In the lower-left, tap the compass icon to see and search through possible Google Assistant actions. Or, you can simply ask Assistant, “What can Google Assistant do?” for a long list of actions to explore.

2 iPhone screenshots in Google Assistant app: (left) After compass icon in lower left is tapped, list of possible actions, with an Action search box, (right) Portion of long list of options shown in response to voice request for

Google Assistant also works with any Google Home devices you have configured. From the Assistant app, you can control specific devices, or configure routines to trigger several actions at once with a single command. Open other Google apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Maps, from within Google Assistant—provided those apps reside on your iPhone. Ask Assistant to speak the latest news or weather, perform basic calculations, or play music.

Of course, Google Assistant excels at performing Google searches by voice. So sports scores, recipes, nearby restaurants, stores, or any search you might typically type can instead be searched with a spoken request.