Throughout the years, the Google Assistant has continually gotten smarter and more competent. It's already regarded as the best among its AI assistant peers, and it has become more helpful by simplifying multitasking across apps and letting you manage your private activity data with just your voice. These spiffy new Assistant features, however, will initially be limited to the US and only in English; support for additional languages and countries will arrive at a later date.
When the Google Assistant was first introduced to us, the bulk of the processing was handled by Google's cloud data center, often resulting in slow responses and noticeable lag. Google began improving the experience by offloading more of the processing to the local device, such as its Pixel phones, to drastically speed up the Assistant's response rates. The new Assistant launching on the Pixel 4 takes this integration to the next level with an on-device version of the language models that Google run in its data centers. Sabrina Ellis, a member of the Google Pixel team, calls it a "hybrid model" that allows the Assistant to do things it couldn't do before, such as seamless multitasking across apps, at a much faster speed. You can watch Sabrina give a demonstration of that below.
Furthermore, Google is continuing to make it easier for users to view and manage their private activity data. The new Assistant can now be told to set a limit on how long your data is stored inside your Google account or to just delete everything altogether.
If the past is any indication, these new features will probably be exclusive to the Pixel 4 devices for a period of time before spreading out to other phone models and to more languages. In the meanwhile, check out the Google Assistant support page to keep up-to-date on all the languages that are periodically added to the Assistant and what the Assistant can do for you.
Our past experience with Assistant announcements tells us that Google doesn't know to phrase availability accurately. More often than not, a "US only" mention really means "US English only," and it turns out to be a language restriction more than a location one. If memory serves us right, of all major Assistant features, only a few like proper phone calls and Duplex have been geofenced. Those of us outside the US have been able to benefit from most other Assistant features by just setting its locale to US English, and I (Rita) personally think this will be the case here.
This claim is further substantiated by XDA's recent Google app findings. The strings point to language variants, even though visible text is about countries — again, that's a confusion we've seen many times before. They tell us Assistant will be coming soon to en-CA (Canada), en-GB (UK), and en-SG (Singapore). All are English locales. That means we're looking at a launch in English first, other languages later, and geofencing shouldn't be an issue.