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. Read More
A few days ago, Google announced new features coming to Assistant on Wear OS and now they've started to roll out. We're not sure if this is a server-side update or if it's related to a Google app update on your watch. When I tried Assistant this morning, I saw the old interface, then the Google app on my watch updated to version 184.108.40.206. I tested Assistant immediately after and it was still the same, but one minute later, I had the new interface. Read More
Google has been pushing out new updates to its self-named app with unusual vigor over the last few weeks. Despite an aggressive release schedule, there are still quite a few additions and clues about future changes. The latest update actually brings some visible changes if you look into Actions on Assistant; but more importantly, there are a handful of clues about future enhancements to Actions, the home screen widget, and more. Read More
At I/O this year, Google promised support for the Korean language would be coming by the end of the year to Assistant. Then at the October Pixel event a couple of weeks ago, Google also stated that Actions on Google (third-party Assistant integrations from different services) now support Korean. Between then and now, it appears that support for the Korean language has gone live on Assistant.
Google's help pages now say that you can talk to Assistant in Korean on your phone, your Wear watch (which makes sense since it's connected to your phone), and that developers can add it in their Actions on Google apps. Read More
Google Developers is rolling out a huge update to Actions on Google, the backbone through which developers can create those Assistant apps and integrations that are still a little hidden but can be very useful if you interact with your Home or phone a lot through voice. Both developers and users stand to benefit from these changes as there are a lot of improvements that will add up quickly for a better experience.
First, in terms of discovery, the Assistant's Explore tab / "app directory" will see two new sections for "What's new" and "What's trending." Now there's only a list of categories, which makes it impossible to spot popular services or new additions. Read More
Halloween is over (sad face) but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy its nerdy tricks and its geeky treats. Google Home already has its own Halloween tricks, but if you're an awesome dad, you'd go above and beyond that. Case in point: this set of Halloween bowls rigged by tjudkinsYT and demoed by his daughter. He's using Android Things on a Raspberry Pi and his own unpublished Action on Google (hence the "getting the test version of Trick or Treat Bowl" you hear the nice Google lady say in reply) to trigger it through Assistant on his Home Mini.
The result is all so cute. Read More
Back in September 2016, Google purchased Speaktoit, a company specializing in natural language technology. The company's main service at the time was API.AI, an SDK that allowed creating voice interfaces for mobile apps. Google re-purposed the tool to create Google Assistant Apps (formerly known as 'Actions on Google'). Read More
I'll be honest, I'm having trouble keeping track of the distinction Google seems to be trying to make between "Apps for the Google Assistant," "Actions on Google," and the Google Assistant. I get that the ambiguous double name for the former expands the capabilities of the latter for developer use. But, frankly, the difference in marketing seems entirely unnecessary and overly confusing, both for consumers and for myself.
Also, Actions/Apps for Google now supports four new languages.
Third party apps and services have been able to connect with the Google Assistant in the States since late last year, through the Actions on Google platform. Compatibility with more languages and regions was promised, and a couple of months ago we got support for it here in the UK, too. Australia is next up. Starting today, developers and businesses down under can integrate their apps with the Google Assistant. Read More