The sudden surge in working from home has led Google to heavily invest in its video chat tools, including Google Meet (formerly Hangouts Meet). Last month it gained the ability to accept multiple join requests at once, and now Meet's live caption feature will support more languages.
In the Pixel 4a's announcement post, Google said that the new Assistant, which had been only available in English and Japanese so far, would "soon" support four new languages. Nearly two months later, that promise is materializing. You can now use the faster and cleaner Assistant in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
With its Smart Clock, Lenovo introduced a new type of Asssitant-enabled smart display. Unfortunately, it could only speak English when it came out, as it runs off a custom Android Things platform, which is different from the one used by Lenovo Smart Displays and Nest Hubs. However, Google just updated its official Assistant support pages to indicate the device now supports French and German.
Assistant-enabled smart displays came out about a year ago, but they could exclusively speak English until they learned Canadian French recently. Because of this dialect limitation, the devices have only been available for sale in the US, UK, and Australia. However, newly added support for French and German means they are coming to Europe as well.
We rarely speak of Assistant on Android TV because changes in the platform are highly dependent on TV and set-top box manufacturers, infrequent updates, and sometimes server-side pushes from Google. But language support is something we keep an eye on, as it allows users who don't speak English to use the Assistant on their TVs.
As with most of Google's products, Assistant is an incredibly powerful tool in the United States, but its functionality is limited in other countries. This is understandable, since there are dozens of other major languages worldwide with countless dialects, and speech recognition for each variation can take a while to develop. At Mobile World Congress, Google announced a massive expansion for Assistant's language support.
Ever since the Google app moved to weekly releases, often with several minor updates along the way, notable changes have been spread out. This update brought the rollout of Android Auto integration for Google Podcasts, but aside from that, the last few updates have been pretty conservative with their changes. As a result, teardowns from the last few versions are getting bundled together in a single post to keep things cleaner for our readers.
Google Assistant routines can save you a lot of time by executing multiple commands in succession after you say a simple sentence. They started off as "My Day," which brought a simple morning routine, but then multiple routines were enabled, as were custom routines, and finally scheduled routines. But until recently, they were only officially available if you set your Assistant to use English (US). Now, they're supported in many more language/country combinations.
Google's Assistant has been making great strides in both functionality and speech recognition since its original release in the far off year of 2016. In fact, Google says that it has improved so much that, starting today, it can recognize two different languages interchangeably. Your Google Home is now bilingual, something no other digital assistant can do — at least, since Google's other assistant, Google Now. But there is a caveat: it supports only two languages among a list of six.