The Google app for iPhone is pretty underrated. You can find many of Android’s behaviors by setting things up correctly.
L’application Google for iPhone is pretty underrated. Sure, it won’t turn your iPhone into Android, but it will give you instant access to some of the Google features that make Android smartphones so great, and you can tweak the settings to make the Apple phone behave better like Alphabet’s mobile OS.
And there’s at least one good reason for doing so: Google Assistant. The latter is simply better than Siri in all aspects – apart, of course, from purely Apple-related actions -. And with an accessibility feature, you can even take advantage of Google Assistant by simply tapping the back of your iPhone.
Your gateway to the Google experience
If you already use Google Chrome on your iPhone or Mac, the Google app will look familiar. Once authenticated, you will see your Discovery feed. You can scroll through recommended articles and when you tap on one, the page will display in the built-in browser, making the reading experience even better.
But the most interesting is the Google search bar and the Microphone button. You can quickly search Google and view the results in-browser – and use the Share button to open it in any browser or app. Tap the Microphone button to start a voice search or take advantage of Google Assistant.
You can ask Google Assistant anything. The results will appear in Google Search and you will also get an audio response.
Scan QR Codes, find things and translate text via Google Lens
The iPhone has a QR Code reader built into the Camera app, but it’s pretty limited. For example, it is unable to scan QR Codes from images or screenshots, something the Google app can do. It can also translate text and provide real-time search results for objects within the field of view. All thanks to the Google Lens feature.
At the top of the Google app, tap the Camera icon and point your phone at what you want. You can tap and hold the text to translate it and you can also quickly open a QR Code.
Speed things up by using the Google widget for the home screen
If you use the Google app often, you should add the Google widget to your home screen. It’s a good way to quickly launch the Lens feature, for example, or a simple Google search. To do this, tap and hold an empty area of your iPhone’s home screen and tap the + button in the upper left corner. Then find the Google app, choose the widget you want, and place it where you want it.
Activate Google Assistant by tapping the back of your iPhone
Having access to Google Assistant in the Google app is great, but you can activate this AI from anywhere via iOS’s “Touch Device Back” feature. This feature is not available in the Google app itself: you have to download the Google Assistant app – configuration is very easy, and even more so if you already have the Google app on your device -. Once installed, use voice search once to grant access to the microphone and Shortcuts.
Then create a shortcut. Open the Shortcuts app and tap the More button at the top. Tap on the “Add action” button and search for the “Hey Google” action. Next, disable the “Show When Run” feature.
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Touch Device Back. There, choose between “Touch 2 times” or “Touch 3 times” depending on your preference. Scroll down to the Shortcuts section and choose the “Hey Google” shortcut.
Now when you tap the back of your iPhone two or three times, the OS will directly open the Google Assistant app with the microphone on ready to listen to you.