Google Assistant is Now Available for iPad

Google has just updated its Google Assistant app for iOS with support for the iPad. I’ve been using the Google Assistant on and off over the last few weeks and for most tasks, it does a far better job compared to Siri or Alexa.

Unfortunately, the iPad version of the app is just a blown up interface for the big screen. You do get to view more content from the results in most cases, but generally speaking, the interface is just like a really big phone. On the positive side, the app does support SlideOver and SplitView modes and even lets you Drag and Drop content from other apps onto it.

Get the Google Assistant for Free from the App Store →.

The Growing Trend of Bloated Apps with ‘Lite’ Alternatives

K. Q. Dreger notices a peculiar trend in apps by large companies and writes that a company’s ‘Lite’ app should be their only app:

What part of being fast, data conscious, and reliable is exclusive to old devices or those on poor networks? Why does Twitter Lite feel more like Twitter than anything the company’s done with their main website or app over the past few years? Are Facebook, Twitter, and Google truly so married to ads, analytics, and A/B testing frameworks that their only shot at making a reasonably sized, fast app is to start fresh? Will these lite variants actually stay that way, or will the bloat slowly creep back in?

Being based in India, I have used some of these ‘Lite’ apps over the last few months and in almost all the cases, these lite versions offer a far better user experience than using the official apps. It’s downright ridiculous to experience how bloated the official apps are with unnecessary crap.

It’s also sad to see that there are many apps out there which are severely bloated and do not offer a lite version at all. This issue is becoming more common across not just iOS and Android, but on the Mac as well, thanks to all the “apps” powered by Electron.

Google Maps for iOS Adds a Today Widget for Navigation & an iMessage App

Google today released Google Maps v4.30.0 for iOS that introduces two nifty features in the app — a Today Widget and an iMessage app. The Today Widget allows you to browse and view turn-by-turn directions right on your lockscreen. You can tap small arrows to browse through the entire route, or it auto updates for you. This is great when you are only using the app to stay on track. The iMessage app on the other hand lets you quickly send your current location to your contacts. The app sends your GPS co-ordinates as well as a map preview of the location to your contacts, tapping on which opens the main app.

Apple still doesn’t offer turn-by-turn navigation, or even directions in India, so these small feature additions by Google Maps are really helpful. Grab the latest version of Google Maps from the App Store.


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