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Use Google Assistant on Your iPhone Even If It’s Not On the Foreground

We know that Siri is improving and it’s useful on so many cases; however, Google Assistant (we will call it “GA” from now on) is superior on many other things such as search (no denials here, right? ^_^) But, even if you would like to exclusive use GA whether it’s on the foreground or not, you can NOT do that (at least in a straightforward approach) on the iPhone. In order to use GA on your iPhone, you need to open it up (which means to bring the GA app to the foreground) and then you can start interacting with it. Unlike GA, you can set up Siri to listen to it’s wake-up keyword which is “Hey Siri”. Afterwards, you can just speak commands out and Siri will just pick those commands up and reacting accordingly. For instance, even when your screen if off (your iPhone is unlocked), you can say “Hey Siri, call Mom”. Siri will let you know that you need to unlock your phone to do so.

Siri is Useful But What If You just Wanna Get Directions on Google Maps?

Just like GA, you can ask Siri to give you directions —-> hands-free style. Just say “Hey Siri, directions to (BLANK)“. Again, (BLANK) is the destination that you would like to get to. Then Siri will pull up the Apple maps app and get you the directions. Well… the catch here is that what if you don’t wanna use Apple maps app since it’s not as accurate as Google maps app even though Apple improves their own maps app A LOT over the years. Or … maybe you just are more familiar with the Google maps app and you would like to hands-freely use it?

The straight answer is “NO, you can NOT”. However, there is an workaround though. It’s a bit stupid but you know deeply in your mind that it should be able to get jobs done… the thing is that most of us have never really give it a try until today.

How To Use GA Exclusively on Your iPhone

Well… “exclusively” … it’s a figuratively speaking since… we still need to have Siri in between acting as a bridge. First, just set Siri up on your phone so you can wake Siri up anytime in any circumstances by saying “Hey Siri”.

Set up Siri



We are referring to article to do so since they already have a very detailed walk through on this

1) Launch Settings from your Home screen.
2) Tap on Siri & Search
3) Tap the Listen for “Hey Siri switch to turn it on.

From this point going forward, you will be able to talk to your Siri assistant on your iPhone whether your iPhone locked or not.

How To Use Siri As a Bridge to Use GA Exclusively

It’s simple and “sounds” stupid but it gets jobs done though. Just bring GA to the foreground by asking Siri to do so every time when you would like to interact with you iPhone for something. For instance,

Using Google Maps App for directions

1) Say “Hey Siri, open Google Assistant
2) (once GA is open on the foreground) Say “OK Google, directions to (BLANK)“. Again, (BLANK) is the destination that you would like to get to.
3) Enjoy your Google Maps App on your iPhone hands-free style

Watching Netflix Videos

Due to the applications implementation, you will need to link your Netflix account with GA first. If you don't, GA will show you the instructions when you use voice commands to do so.

1) Say “Hey Siri, open Google Assistant
2) (once GA is open on the foreground) Say “OK Google, play Hawaii Five-O on Netflix“.
3) Enjoy your Netflix video 🙂


As we brought up in the very beginning of this article that this approach is very obvious but we just might not think of it or just didn’t do it. However, if you really prefer GA over Siri (and most of us do for some tasks … e.g., maps as mentioned above), you can really benefit from this workaround. Again, it sounds silly but it gets jobs done and gets those jobs done very well 🙂