Google Assistant At Your Service
Google announced that Google Assistant will come to most of the Android phones with Android Marshmallow and Nougat.
‘Google Assistant’ is the personal assistant from Google and can be considered an update to ‘Google Now’. Although it keeps the “Ok Google” voice command to launch, it gives users a lot more options and features. Strongly based in AI, it will keep improving and eventually will be able to maintain a decent conversation with the user and provide more content according to the user preferences.
Competing with Siri from Apple, Cortana from Microsoft, Alexa from Amazon and with a few others voice assistants, Google’s Assistant was first introduced in May 2016, during the Google I/O, alongside with the new phones Google Pixel and Pixel XL, and with the new voice-activated speaker, Google Home. This was, in my opinion, the bad side of the strategy as most of Android users don’t have a Pixel phone or a Google Home speaker.
Google quickly saw this “flaw” and, in order to make Android users a bit more happier, decided to add a simpler version that was included in the new messaging app ‘Allo’. This move allowed more users to have the chance to test the new voice assistant and gave Google the opportunity to enrich it with the feedback received.
Despite these setbacks, the great news arrived a few weeks ago when Google announced that Google Assistant will come to most Android phones with Android Marshmallow and Nougat. This will be possible through a Google update, which will allow a good amount of users to have almost the full experience with the voice assistant.
Conversation Actions and Direct Actions
Google Assistant is, without any doubt, a good feature for users but it’s also a great opportunity for developers to update apps, so they can work with the new assistant, giving users a better experience and easier accessibility. In order to do this, developers can use Actions on Google.
Within these, there are two major concepts: Conversation Actions and Direct Actions. The first one, as the name indicates, lets user have conversations and identify actions with the assistant, which, after determining the best action to invoke, requests a Conversation Action. After that, the action manages the rest, including how users are greeted, how to fulfill the user’s request and how the conversation ends.
Direct Actions are not yet available but they will be responsible for handling the entire user interaction and the developer only has to worry about the fulfillment. Direct Actions will be great for areas like home automation, media, communications use cases, and more. You can learn more about this topic, here.
With systems like Google Assistant, the future looks really bright as it gives great advantages for both users and developers. And, as the time passes, AI will keep getting better, making the experience a lot more smooth than anyone could ever imagine.