What is Google Assistant?
Google Assistant is Google’s virtual assistant. It’s an evolution of Android feature known as Google Now, which provided you information without you even asking. It competes with Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Assistant launched in May 2016 as part of Google’s smart messaging app Allo. Shortly after, Assistant made the jump to Google’s Pixel phones. It was only available on the Pixel line for a while, but it’s now free to download for anyone using Android 5 Lollipop or above. In addition to Android Wear support, there’s an Assistant app for iOS. And the Google Home line of smart speakers is powered by Google Assistant too.
What can Google Assistant do?
The “OK Google” or “Hey, Google” side covers voice commands, voice searching, and voice-activated device control, letting you do things like send messages, check appointments and so on on your Android device, just like Apple’s Siri on an iPhone or iPad, but reaching far beyond that, with a bot-centric AI experience, designed to give you conversational interactions.
Google Assistant will:
- control your devices and your smart home
- access information from your calendars and other personal information
- find information online, from restaurant bookings to directions, weather and news
- control your music
- play content on your Chromecast or other compatible devices
- run timers and reminders
- make appointments and send messages
- open apps on your phone
- read your notifications to you
Continued Conversation that means you don’t have to say “Hey Google” for follow-up requests, instead, once you’ve started talking to Google it listens for a response without needing a trigger phrase all the time. Google can also recognize voice profiles for different people, so it knows who is talking to it and can tailor the responses accordingly – something that other systems don’t yet offer.
You can also ask for multiple things at the same time. This, says Google, is rather difficult – in linguistics it is called coordination reduction. Mastering requests like this is probably what will power Google Assistant ahead of rivals.
Because Google Assistant knows you and understands context, it can react in an informed or smart way. That’s important as Assistant spreads its wings, because it gives voice control a lot more power and moves it on from only reacting to specific phrases or commands. In the future, Google even says that Assistant will be able to call and book appointments for you, designed to be more than just reactive.
Google Assistant in Google Home devices forms the foundation of smart home control, compatible with a wide range of devices so you can control heating, lights and lots more with your voice.
The Languages added:
- Arabic (Egypt, Saudi Arabia)
- English (India, Indonesia, Ireland, Philippines, Thailand)
- German (Austria)
- Spanish (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru)