Attendees sit in front of a Google logo during Google I/O Conference

Google takes on Siri with voice search app for Apple

Google has updated its voice-based search technology for Apple's iPhone in a bid to take on Siri.

The new version of Google's search app for the iPhone and iPad, expected to be available within a few days, will let users find information about everything from the weather to nearby film screenings by speaking into the devices, matching some of the capabilities offered by Apple's own Siri technology.

Google has also said it is testing a new service that will combine its Web-based email Gmail with its search engine.

Google's voice search app recites answers to search results in a human-sounding voice, similar to Apple's Siri, which some analysts and technology observers believe could make iPhone users less reliant on Google's search service.

The news comes as the relationship between the two companies grows increasingly competitive.

Apple said earlier this week it would no longer offer Google's YouTube app as a pre-loaded app in future versions of its iPhone.

Google, which unveiled a version of the voice-based search app for its Android software earlier this year, showcased the version for Apple devices at a press event at its San Francisco offices earlier this week.

The company also announced a test version of a new service that will integrate users' personal emails into searches on the Google website.

The service, which Google said will initially be available to one million users, aims to make it easier for consumers to access information such as flight schedules or shipping orders.

A truly universal search will "have all the information that humanity has put on the Web and information that's your information", said Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search.

The initial "field trial" will work with Google's Gmail, but Singhal said the company was open to working with other email providers.

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