Google Assistant was all the rage at CES last month, with plenty of talk about Google’s, well, assistant.
With Mobile World Congress kicking off next week and a lot of attention on the Android One and Android Go phones that will be announced during the event, the Google Assistant team apparently decided to get out ahead of the game by announcing all kinds of news about the Alexa competitor.
Kicking things off, we have the news that Google Assistant will be gaining the ability to speak more languages. With eight currently in place, Google will be expanding that to 30 by the end of the year, which should account for around 95% of the Android phones in use worldwide. While we knew that this was on the cards already, the official announcement includes more details – some will arrive in the next few months with others coming later in the year. Expect Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai to arrive first.
On top of the additional language support, Google announced that Assistant will soon also be able to understand two languages at once later this year. That will be a real boon for those living in multilingual countries, with on-the-fly switching of languages set to start off with English, French, and German.
Moving on, Assistant will also gain the ability to perform actions on the phone and inside apps in a way similar to Samsung’s Bixby. Three phone makers are already working on support for the updated featureset, with Sony, LG and Xiaomi kicking things off.
On top of that, Assistant will soon also support routines and location-based reminders. While the latter has been available on Android phones for a while now, support will be added to Google Home in the coming weeks.
Routines will be arriving in the same time frame, although only six will be available initially. This should eventually allow multiple actions to be carried out based on one command or input.
Google is clearly working to improve Google Assistant across both Android and Google Home, and we suspect this is only the start of what could be a big 2018 for the smart assistant.
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