New Features Coming to Google Assistant
Google at their 2018 I/O conference, Google Assistant is available on iPhones as well, Google has to give iOS users a reason to switch to its assistant over the built-in Siri. Today, Google has eight more reasons for users to do so.
Google claims the concurrent theme running through all of these new features is about saving user’s time. While that’s definitely true, you’ll also find each adds a deeper level of flow and usability to the assistant. These enhancements make communicating with Google Assistant much more natural, closer to if you were talking to a real person. After all, that seems to be the goal for any digital assistant.
Google Assistant Best New Feature
♥ Google Duplex — Assistant Will Call People for You
Undoubtedly, the most impressive new feature coming to Google Assistant is Google Duplex, which allows Google Assistant to make phone calls on behalf of the user. Google Assistant makes its voice sound natural and as conversational as possible so that person being called won’t have to adjust to talk to a “robot.”
Google showed off two examples of Duplex in action, one making a hair appointment, the other placing a dinner reservation.
♥ Six New Voices (One Being John Legend)
For those who want some variety in the way their digital assistant sounds, Google has your back. The company unveiled six news voices that will be released, five of them on May 8, all with enhanced, realistic communication. Google put an emphasis on this realism, and how it’s using machine learning and WaveNet to make its voices sound as natural as possible.
♥ Continued Conversation — Keeps Your Inquiries Flowing
Having to repeatedly say “Hey Google” or “OK Google” can get old fast, especially if you have a lot of questions to get through. Google knows this, which is why it’s introducing “Continued Conversation,” a retooling of the way you interact with Google Assistant.
With Continued Conversation, you only need to say “Hey, Google” once. After that, you can continue to ask away or chat, and Google Assistant will listen to you and respond accordingly.
♥ Multiple Actions — Answers More Complicated Questions
In addition to Continued Conversation, users can now string together more complicated, two-part questions with “Multiple Actions.” Currently, Google Assistant wouldn’t know what to do with the question “Who was the governor of California when Kevin Durant was drafted and what team drafted him?” However, with the new updates, your assistant will be able to follow these more complicated questions use coordination reduction and answer them accordingly.
♥ Pretty Please — Helps Kids Be Polite to Their Technology
With the abundance of smart assistants for our phones, smart speakers, and even our appliances, some are concerned that children using this technology are missing out on important in manners — demanding answers from their digital assistants with no expectation of thanks.
Google is stepping in to nip that problem in the bud — “Pretty Please” rewards children who ask their Google Assistant for things politely with affirmation for their fantastic manners. “Please tell me a story” is returned with “Thank you for asking so politely” or “Thanks for saying ‘please.'”
It’s an interesting strategy and, if nothing else, might raise some of the most polite children in history.
♥ Google Maps Integration
There are times you don’t want your smart assistant taking up your entire display, such as when you’re driving and want to keep an eye on your GPS location. Google is aiming to solve that problem by better integrating Google Assistant with Google Maps. Now, Google Assistant takes up a tiny portion of the window while keeping the directions in plain view. This feature is coming to Google Maps this summer.
♥ Revamped UI
The Google Assistant team has also worked on making it easier to control the functions you ask Google Assistant to work with. For example, asking Google Assistant to turn down the temperature in the house brings up a full-screen thermostat, which allows you to tinker with the controls without leaving the Google Assistant screen. Google has even integrated other apps, like Starbucks, Domino’s, Panera, 7-Eleven, and more, so you can ask the assistant to order you your usual from the closest establishment near you.
♥ Integration with Smart Displays
Google is partnering with smart display makers such as JBL, Lenovo, and LG to bring customers excellent experiences with Google Assistant. The company showed off how users can utilize Google Assistant on smart display to request a TV show, view photos, and even pull up animated recipes to cook alongside. This seems like an exciting update for anyone with a smart display — and possibly a compelling reason to pick one up.