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Google could learn a thing or two from Apple's WWDC keynote

Google could learn a thing or two from Apple's WWDC keynote


After Google I/O last month, I was in a bad mood — wondering what the point of all this artificial intelligence was if it was going to interfere with my Android experience — and then I found myself getting excited about similar AI features Apple announced for the iPhone at WWDC.

No need to Google AI search, no need to learn about the benefits of slavery

I attributed it to being at Apple Park and enjoying a fluffy, flaky chocolate croissant at Cafe Mac. But as time passed at the developer conference and I got a better idea of ​​what was coming, I found myself somewhat submissive. I wasn't as resistant to the idea of ​​Apple Intelligence as I was to the AI ​​sitting in the press box at Google I/O. The branding on Apple's side was better; it wasn't as intimidating as Gemini's heavy-handed presence, and I found the proposed user-friendliness a bit more appealing.

iOS 18 is still months away from release, and most of Apple Intelligence's features won't be available in the upcoming public beta — in fact, the AI ​​features will only be available on a handful of Apple devices — but the way Apple has packaged everything has me convinced that its move into AI is neater and more organized than Google's.

Captivating Keynote Speech

Apple managed to keep its keynote focused on the features customers will have in Apple Intelligence, due for release later this year, without mentioning AI much. While Google justified its change of direction in its keynote, Apple barely touched on the topic until the second hour. It felt less like a timeshare presentation convincing me of what I'd gain if I gave in, and more like a State of the Union address outlining the changes that will come as a result of industry trends.

Apple spent the latter half of the keynote explaining the capabilities of Apple Intelligence and what they enhance, like scrubbing people and objects out of the background of photos and generating emojis based on text prompts — all things that Android can do for the most part. But the way Apple presented these as quality-of-life features of the operating system rather than cutting-edge technology made the AI ​​seem approachable, even appealing.

The Promise of Contextual Siri

I haven't been doing too well with Google's transition to Gemini. After some frustrating experiences with the current Gemini AI service, I recently switched back to Google Assistant, despite the dire daily warnings that Gemini is being phased out. Google hasn't been very forthcoming about the future of smart home routines and other related features after the transition to Gemini. Until then, you can rest assured that you'll be able to use Gemini on the web only.

Image: Apple

Meanwhile, here Apple shows me what I envisioned for Google Assistant: Contextual Siri, coming to iPhone later this year, is meant to start a conversation with a traditional digital assistant. While the screen edges light up, you can continue to use voice or on-screen actions contextually until you get the result you want.

I envisioned a similar future with Google, so I have Nest Audio speakers sprinkled throughout my house, with a digital assistant guiding me as I enter each room. But as the months have passed, and especially since the launch of Gemini, the Assistant's ability to understand which device I'm controlling in a particular room has become more of a hassle than a help. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the dozens of frustrated users on Reddit who are struggling to enjoy Gemini's features because it's not fully integrated with other things the Google Assistant is supposed to do.

In the end, it’s all about AI

Behind the manicured garden walls, Apple Intelligence is moving full steam ahead, despite some lingering questions about privacy and data sets. Apple explains that AI is a natural evolution of its software, and user roles are given the privilege to experiment within defined limits.

Google is also trying to lead us all into a narrative of experimentation, which tends to lead to instability in the Android world. I wonder if I would be less frustrated if I were entirely on the Apple side. Some of the comments on Apple Intelligence suggest that I am one of the few people feeling optimistic after WWDC. Either way, there doesn't seem to be much of a choice. You can either accept that the future of mobile is in AI or be one of those people who go back to their dumb phones to keep their sanity.




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