One of the more common uses for the Amazon Echo (and other Alexa-compatible devices) is ordering items online. In this glorious future, you don't even need to touch your phone to order products online - just tell your smart speaker to buy it for you. Now Google has added 'smart shopping' to Assistant, including the Google Home. Read More
Google Assistant in Allo isn't quite as feature-packed as Assistant on other platforms, but it's still one of Allo's most compelling features. It can quickly perform a web search, tell a joke, set reminders, and more - all by just tagging it in the middle of conversations. Google has added a new trick to Assistant on Allo - it can share your personal data, if you grant it permission. Read More
Back at Google I/O 2016, we got a first look at Google Assistant. It was designed to be a conversational assistant, as opposed to the search-based Google Now. Then when Allo was released in September, it shipped with a beta version of Assistant. Finally when the Google Pixel phones were released in October, Assistant was a major selling point.
Google has a tendency to rush products out the door without fully finishing them, and Assistant was no exception. So now that about four months have passed since the official introduction of Google Assistant (roughly five months if you count the Allo beta), has anything changed? Read More
Some users signed up to the Google app beta channel have been receiving an unusual "alpha" release of v6.13 update. It's not entirely clear if this was meant to find its way into the wild, and judging by many inoperable and buggy issues, I suspect it wasn't. All the same, it's out and contains some pretty interesting things. To begin with, this version enables some features that had previously been seen in testing like a page of recent search topics and lite mode. There is also a process to add payment information for use with Google Assistant. Diving into a teardown brings back some previously seen features and adds a couple of new ones to the list. Read More
Google does weird things. Assistant for example has different capabilities if you use it on Google Home, in Google Allo, on the Google Pixel, or on Android Wear 2.0. Why? It's hard to explain and even harder to remember what is possible where, and more importantly, what is not possible.
For example, you could control your compatible smart home gadgets from Assistant on Google Home, but the functionality wasn't available on the Pixel. Last December, a small workaround showed up: if you already enabled Nest control on Google Home, you could issue the command on your Pixel and it would be interpreted correctly, but if you didn't have a Home already, Google would reply that it doesn't know how to do that yet. Read More
Google Assistant was introduced at Google I/O last year, as a more personal voice assistant than Google Now. Since then, it has been made available on several platforms - Pixel phones, the Google Home, Android TV, and Allo. But Assistant is still unavailable on non-Pixel phones without a special build.prop tweak. Now the Open GApps team has made enabling Assistant a little easier. Read More
We've often lamented the rather lacklustre approach Google has taken with Google Assistant, but it can do one thing: remember stuff. On all three things which use Assistant - that's Allo, Pixel, and Home - it can recall things it's been asked to remember. As Assistant is cross-platform, this works across all three devices; telling it to remember something on Home and then asking on Pixel does indeed work. Read More
Just over two weeks into 2017 and there's already a second beta update to the Google app rolling out to users. The previous version didn't present with any notable new features, but it did leave some clues about future updates. The latest update is also packed with nuggets of future improvements, but it also adds at least one feature for people that have to search internationally from time to time. This update is currently rolling out to users signed up to the beta program, but if you want to pick it up separately, there is a download link at the bottom. Read More
By far one of the most annoying aspects of Google Now and Assistant is that you have to speak "OK Google," before every command. Even though Now and Assistant can continue conversations based on context (for example, you can follow up "Who is the president?" with "How old is he?"), you still have to say "OK Google" before asking anything. Read More
When Google Assistant was first unveiled at Google I/O last year, it promised to be a more natural voice assistant - similar to Siri, Alexa, Cortana, etc. It also serves as an Alexa competitor, with Google positioning Assistant for use with third-party devices and services. Right now, Google Assistant is officially available on Google's Pixel phones, the Google Home, Google's Allo chat application, and soon Android TV. Read More