According to Search Engine Land, it's a case of goodbye voice search, hello Google Assistant. The company is swapping out the familiar blue and red mic in favour of its Assistant on the home screen of Android handsets.
The article goes on to report that Google is looking to replace basic speech-to-text voice recognition with the technically superior Assistant:
|"Assistant is a part of Google's new AI-first approach. At Google's developer conference in 2017, CEO Sundar Pichai declared the company was shifting its orientation from 'mobile-first' to 'AI-first.' The difference is the multi-platform emphasis and the expanding capabilities of the Assistant, which is more conversational, and potentially transactional, (e.g. Duplex) than ordinary search."|
Mobile Search Results are Changing
Earlier in 2019, Google started testing ads within Assistant results. Back in April, they confirmed paid-search ads would be shown "when relevant" by the Assistant.
Not only that but 'traditional mobile search results' look like disappearing. Google Assistant seeks to give users 'answers.' Increasingly, those answers are accompanied by visual information - rather than a list of links, as we've become accustomed to with search results.
Adobe recently found that 48% of consumers are using voice for "general web searches." Those numbers will only increase as the Assistant gradually becomes more widely used by people to access information on mobiles.