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API.AI

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API.AI, Google's tool for making Assistant apps, is now Dialogflow

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').

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Actions on Google opens to the public, developers now free to create custom voice actions for Google assistant

The Google assistant makes for a pretty awesome companion on the Pixel phones and Google Home, but it's still young and feels constrained by the very limited number of things it can do outside of Google's sandbox of supported services. During the October 4th announcement, Google declared plans to open up the platform in early December for developers to build their own services. Staying true to that schedule, the Actions on Google platform opened the door today, allowing developers to integrate their services. Google is also launching an early access program to begin testing new features and upcoming expansions.

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Google is creating an open developer platform called "Actions on Google" to integrate with assistant and an embedded SDK to add assistant to new hardware

Today's announcements by Google have certainly given us a lot to look at in terms of new hardware and features – and possibly a case of sticker shock. But while the show was mostly dominated by new gadgets and demos of Google assistant, there was a really important addition for developers (and ultimately users) at the tail end of the event. Google intends to turn assistant into a major ecosystem for apps and services by opening up the platform to developers.

The platform is called "Actions on Google" and it will allow developers to deliver custom experiences through Google assistant. Google assistant can already take advantage of many existing capabilities like app indexing, deep linking, and even the Voice Interaction API to provide helpful answers and services.

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