AI-based voice assistants saw a major boost in the commercial market this year. We saw a new entrant with Samsung Bixby and also new smart speakers like Apple’s HomePod and the Essential Home. As the race continues, Google updates its Assistant with new features for users and developers as well.
Google Assistant now has new ‘What’s New’ and ‘What’s Trending’ sections in the app directory. These sections will refresh from time to time so that it’s discovery is more widespread. Under these sections, different actions related to different apps according to your usage will appear. Google is also introducing autocomplete in the app directory’s search box. Now if you can’t remember the app’s name properly, there will be many suggestions to make the search easier.
The app directory also has new sub-categories like ‘Food & Drink’ which are further distributed into more sub-categories like ‘Order Food’, ‘View a Menu’. Google says that the tasks suggested in these sub-categories are based on the user’s “app’s description and sample invocations to map users’ natural search queries”. Google Assistant is also integrated with implicit discovery which provides answers based on contextual queries. For example, if you type “Find transportation” instead of naming the app will show results like “Ok Google, where’s my Uber”. ALSO READ: Google Assistant now has a Shazam-like functionality
Google is also launching a ‘For Families’ badge which will show apps to users that are appropriate for all ages. Making Google Assistant have a wider reach, Google now allows developers to build apps in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and English languages. In the UK, developers can also build apps with transactional capabilities. Developers can also get updates on their app’s usage on the mobile directory. Here, they can check their app’s ratings and analytics. ALSO READ: Google Assistant can now control Chromecast from Android and iOS smartphones
Google has also introduced new API which enables data to be transferred between Google Home and your smartphone. In essence, if you command a task on Google Home, the remaining actions can be transferred to your smartphone and completed. You can also customize apps to remember only select information and preferences. Google Assistant will also now start suggesting information an app you use daily or quite frequently. In addition to this, based on your usage Google Assistant will also show push notifications to users. Push notifications will first be available on smartphones and later on Google Home. ALSO READ: Google Home Mini, Google Home Max launched: Now do much more with Google Assistant