Google has taken down the Assistant-integrated AutoVoice Action again, for the second time in a year. This time, the company claims the action "promotes content that advocates hate or violence or promotes discrimination," apparently because someone in Germany stringed together a clearly custom command that made the Assistant spout off some hate speech.
JustWatch is a neat way to find out which streaming service has the TV show or movie you’re looking for. But wouldn’t it be better if you could simply ask the Google Assistant to do the searching part? While there is no official solution from JustWatch yet, an indie developer was able to deliver the capability using an Assistant action.
AutoVoice is a powerful tool developed by the maintainer of Tasker, João Dias. It lets you trigger Tasker and IFTTT recipes with your voice, so you can easily start complicated workflows involving multiple smart home devices with a simple phrase. Unfortunately, there seems to be some misunderstanding between Google and the developer. The AutoVoice Assistant action is currently not available because the company griped with the description of the service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Actions on Google, the developer backbone behind third-party Google Assistant integrations, is getting more and more capable with time. Last time we saw it get updated, it learned new languages, got better discoverability for the apps, and added notifications, a personalized experience, and more. With this new update, there's even more in tow, so let's get started.
First, in conjunction with the news that Assistant is adding 30 new languages, 7 of which are launching soon, developers can now create actions in these same languages: Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai. Along with the 9 existing languages, this makes the total 16, but Google knows that the mere fact that a language is supported isn't enough to get all the developers on board.