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Google Assistant updated with support for iPad's bigger screen

Google has released an update to Google Assistant for iOS with support for iPad, optimizing the virtual assistant app originally designed for use on iPhones to work properly with the larger display of Apple's tablet range.

Release notes for version 1.2.4507 of Google Assistant in the App Store inform users they can "now get the full Assistant experience" on the iPad. The notes also advise the latest version also includes a variety of other bug fixes and stability improvements along with the headlining iPad support.

Google Assistant was previously available to use on iPads, but as an app created for iPhones. Users could still download and use the Google Assistant on the iPad, but had to use the zoom-in function to bring the app fullscreen instead of taking up a smaller portion of the display.

One notable difference between the iPad and iPhone versions of the app is the ability to use the iPad version in both portrait and landscape orientations, allowing it to be more easily used when the iPad is on its side on a stand. Previously it was only available to use in portrait, and remains so when used on an iPhone.

The existing Google app, which predates the Google Assistant, already supports the iPad's landscape orientation.

Originally unveiled in 2016 for Android devices, Apple shipped the iPhone version of Google Assistant during the 2017 Google I/O developer conference, limiting it to the United States. In August last year, Google opened up the assistant to three European countries, including the United Kingdom.

Google Assistant expands on the query interpretation offered by Google Voice Search, with it able to understand context and conversational speech styles, such as follow-up questions. For example, asking "Where can I buy one near me" following after a query for a product will bring up a list of nearby firms selling the item in question.

The updated and free Google Assistant app is 155.6 megabytes, and runs on any iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 10.0 or later.