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Actions on Google


Tell Google Assistant to 'Read It,' including webpages translated from 42 languages

The ways we experience media on the web tend to be designed only for the publisher's intended medium. You don't consume videos just for their sound, for example, and podcasts don't often come with word-for-word transcripts, but there are ways of enjoying those pieces of content with augmentation. Some of the toughest challenges in making text sites cross-consumable via dictation has been in naturalizing machine voices and translating stories rich in grammatical tapestry from other languages. Google Assistant is now bringing its answers to those challenges with new text-to-speech functionality available today.

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[Update: Heaters too] Google Assistant adds native support for smart air fresheners and fireplaces


Actions on Google now supports Chinese (traditional) language

Google Assistant can do a lot of awesome things, but that list would be much shorter without developer support. That's what Actions on Google is all about—it helps developers integrate apps and services with Assistant. Thus, you can shout at your phone and smart speakers more often. Now, developers can start supporting the Chinese (traditional) language in their Actions.

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Developers can now sell digital goods via Assistant Actions

Google has allowed developers to sell physical items from Assistant in the past, but now it's expanding that to digital goods and services. That means developers can sell things like subscriptions or in-game content via custom Actions without ever bouncing you out of Assistant. There are also improvements coming to Google sign-ins to make this process easier. And guess what? It's US-only to start. Shocking, I know.

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Google Assistant can now speak Swedish

Gather 'round, Svenska speakers, we have great news for you this morning. After months of promises and speculation, the Google Assistant can now officially understand your language. 

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Google Assistant now lets you see all your linked services and actions in one place

Google Assistant has added a "Your Actions" shortcut at the bottom of the Explore tab that, when pressed, shows a handful of actions you have linked, with the option to view a full list. This is the first centralized location for this information; previously, it was hard to tell which services you'd linked to Assistant and which you hadn't.

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[That's the shit] Google Assistant will soon control your smart toilet and tub

In a not-so-distant future, you'll be able to control everything with your Google Home and Assistant. No sooner did we discover seven new device types supported directly by it (A/Cs, air purifiers, fans, coffee makers, kettles, ovens, sprinklers) than we learned about even more devices being added shortly, sometime in 2018. The news came from an I/O session where the Actions on Google team dumped the above slide with all the planned device types.

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Actions on Google get integration with custom routines, customizable visuals, support for digital subscriptions and app actions, more

Ever since they were introduced, Actions on Google have been gaining more and more features. They're the backbone behind everything you can do in Assistant with third-party services and apps, and since Assistant is spreading its tentacles everywhere these days, they will become more and more fundamental to the way we interact with our phones, speakers, TVs, and other smart devices. The latest announcements coming out of I/O will help developers achieve more with Actions on Google. 

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Developers can now test Assistant Actions with some users under an early access program

If you're a developer working on an Actions on Google service or you're a maker of a smart home device or connected gadget and would like to try out your new Assistant action in different scenarios, you're a little limited for options. You likely will have to test it internally among your team, if you have one, but beyond that, you can't account for every situation and bug and will have to deploy at some point and hope things don't go wrong when many people start using it. But now you can test it out, as you would an Android app.

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Google Assistant adds native support for A/C units, air purifiers, coffee makers, fans, kettles, ovens, and sprinklers

The Google Assistant (and thus Home) can control several kinds of devices natively: lights, switches, and thermostats were some of the first ones supported, but we later saw fridges, washers, dryers, and more. Now, seven new device types are being added to the native controls in Assistant, thus expanding its potential more and more.

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