Google Assistant to rival Siri with voice-activated 'do engine'

Sorry Wolfram Alpha and setting iOS calendar appointments, you're just not going to cut it

As we look forward to seeing Siri on the iPad 3 and Apple TV this week, Google is stepping up its voice control efforts for Android with a fairly Apple-style plan for control over how we search on our smartphones. Is this the excellently named Project Majel we heard rumours of last year? It must be.

A Google source has been letting TechCrunch in on all the details of Google Assistant – due to be released before the end of 2012, this multi-platform voice control feature would use info gathered from Google+ and elsewhere to personalise voice-activated results from the world's biggest search engine. Then your Google Assistant will become a 'do engine' that helps you achieve real life goals, rather than just searching for results online.

Google is also planning to bring developers in on the Google Assistant fun by eventually opening up the API for anyone to build sites or apps for. Voice control for Google is nothing new but Google Assistant, perhaps integrated on Google TV, could be a genuinely useful idea – if it can figure out what we're saying that is.

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