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Google ramping up development of Android Siri rival

Google is reportedly accelerating its efforts to best Apple's Siri voice-controlled robo-butler.

Google is accelerating its efforts to beat Apple's voice-controlled butler Siri, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Citing "people familiar with the matter", the Journal reckons Google is speeding up plans to launch an Android-based Siri competitor, rumoured to be called Google Assistant.

Android has featured voice-control tech for ages, letting phone owners bark orders into their mobiles using Voice Actions. This lets you do plenty of things, such as send texts, search or play music on your Android phone, but the actions are triggered by specific commands and, unlike Siri, the phone doesn't speak back.

Google is reportedly looking to upgrade its voice-controlled search to full personal-assistant status -- a new Android tool that will create a 'personalisation layer' using data from Google+, offer a 'do engine' that helps you achieve real life goals and be voiced by Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince.

Samsung seemingly couldn't wait for Google's own efforts, loading the Samsung Galaxy S3 with S Voice, an own-brand Siri rival that's sadly pants. Recently news emerged that LG has cooked up its own voice service called Quick Voice, though that's only available in Korea for now.

Google's decision to speed up the process could be spurred on by Apple's recent announcements regarding iOS 6. The iPhone-making company is giving Siri a much-needed refresh, bringing location data to the UK, adding sport and movie info, as well as introducing the smug robot helper to the iPad.

I can't wait to see what Google comes up with -- as a company that's founded on search and data manipulation, crafting a competent virtual assistant should be right up the Big G's silicon alley.

Siri gets updated in the autumn when iOS 6 launches. If Google has a rival product up its sleeves, we could see it debut around the same time.

Are you on board with mobile chit-chat? Or should smart phones be seen and not heard? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.