Google made multiple major announcements related to the future of its Assistant today, including new voices, a feature to teach kids good manners, the ability to continue conversations, and Assistant being able to make phone calls on a user’s behalf.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai says he wants Assistant to be “natural and comfortable to talk to.” As such, users can now keep a conversation going with Assistant without repeatedly saying, “Hey Google,” to start every query. If you want to ask a question, you can keep asking more until you’ve reached a natural stopping point in the conversation. The feature, called continued conversations, should be available in the “coming weeks.” Amazon’s Alexa assistant already does this with its follow-up mode
Google Assistant coming to Google Maps
Google’s virtual assistant now gets tied up to Google Maps, it will help you navigate in Google Maps. Moreover, you will be able to share your ETA with friends and family, reply to text messages, play music and podcasts, search for places along your route, add a new stop and auto-punctuate your message. The feature has started rolling out to Google Maps for both Android and iOS
Google Assistant is about to get a lot more functional with its ability to work when the phone is locked. This means you can ask the assistant to show restaurants nearby, set up and dismiss alarms, schedule reminders and timers without unlocking your phone. It can also answer personal queries like traffic updates to work or calendar updates. The will be rolled out to all Android users in the coming weeks.
Everybody wants to perfect the real-time translation on their respective assistant. Google takes another lead with what they call Interpreter Mode which is basically as the name suggest, helps to interpret different languages. For example, you can just say Just say “Hey Google, be my French interpreter” to start Interpreter Mode and get real-time spoken and (on Smart Displays) written translation to aid the conversation.
For commuters, it not just about the getting to new places, it’s about to get into the place on time. Google Assistant will soon let you do checks-in to your flight, save and retrieve your boarding pass. All you need to do is just say, “Hey Google, check in to my flight”. Furthermore, you can book a room with partners like Choice Hotels, AccorHotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Priceline, Expedia, Mirai, and Travelclick. Google also promises to bring support for Google Keep,, Bring! and Todoist.
The company said last week that its Assistant is now compatible with more than 5,000 home devices, which is up from only 1,500 in January. Today, it said Assistant will support more than 30 languages and will be in 80 countries by the end of the year. Google’s clearly focusing on its Assistant, both from a usability standpoint and its prominence in the public conscience. The company installed a huge brand activation at CES and aggressively started marketing its Alexa competitor. Beyond getting the word out, Google needs to keep adding these features in order to stay ahead of Amazon and beat it in the smart assistant race.