I/O's main keynote was a blur of announcement after announcement, so you'll forgive us if we didn't notice this two-second slide where Google's Scott Huffman showed off Assistant's worldwide expansion and explained that it was "now [...] available on over 1 billion devices, in over 30 languages, across 80 countries." We love milestones like this, but many of the countries he pointed out appear to be in beta.
Before we look at the map, I need to point out that Google ties country availability to languages, so even though we can all, in any country activate the Assistant in English, or French, or German, or any other language that's selectable from its settings, the company doesn't count that as a worldwide rollout.
Looking at the map, we can see obvious country/language combos where we already know Assistant has launched, even if in open beta: USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, many European countries, Russia, Turkey, the KSA, Egypt, Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, China, Australia, etc... But there are also some weird outliers we had never even seen mentioned in the same breath as Assistant.
Among them are a few European countries like Finland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, and Moldova; as well as some Arab countries like the UAE, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco; and some in central and southern Africa like South Africa, Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and more.
It's not clear what makes Assistant "available" in these countries. We've seen private betas spread in Turkey, KSA, Poland, and a few other countries before public release, so is it a case that these closed tests are also occurring elsewhere? Or does the official language of a country being French, for example, mean that it has Assistant already, and if so, why aren't Madagascar or Mali colored? Or could it be a mix of both factors at play?
We've reached out to Google for clarification, but haven't yet received an answer. If you live anywhere in those outlier countries and you've received an invite to try out Assistant in beta, please let us know. That would help us shed a light on part of the mystery.
- Tero Rajala