Google Assistant Gets Its Most Significant Update Till Date

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Mar 9, 2018
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Ever since its inception last year, Google has been adding a ton of new features to the Google Assistant. Some of today’s changes include media playback, Assistant-enabled devices, and subscriptions. The features are rolling out now, and others will be live shortly. It may be the most important Assistant update yet.

The latest version makes it so that you can subscribe to third-party Actions and get daily push notification updates. For example, you can tell Assistant you want a daily update on cryptocurrency prices from CoinBase. Developers of Actions do need to add this feature, so not all of them will work right off the bat.

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More control for audio and video media and easier access to premium content

Media-based actions have access to more playback controls starting today. Actions can include support for voice commands to control playback and access additional content. On your phone, audio from Actions will produce a media notification you can use to manage playback as well. For visual content, Assistant now has a browse carousel.

Actions that are connected to Android apps also have new Assistant features en route. Google will allow developers of Actions to plug into digital purchases including paid app purchases, in-app purchases, in-app subscriptions and the likes. The feature allows an action to be made aware if you paid for premium content in an app. a The concent can subsequently be made available for you. However, for this to work developers need to implement this and push out an update for Google review.

It is now possible to issue complex commands to Assistant embedded devices

The last big Assistant addition is a feature called Custom Device Actions, which allows an Assistant device to use highly specific voice commands.It sounds like it’s only for devices with embedded Assistant such as the Nest Cam IQ and the range of smart speakers announced at CES. There aren’t many examples of hardware with built-in Assistant yet, but developers will be able to include custom commands in them going forward.

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What it implies is that you wouldn’t have to say “Talk to Google Home” before issuing a complex custom command and just talk to the device directly. For example, you can tell the Assistant to “set the oven to convection and preheat to 350 degrees.” all in one command.

Of all the features, the ability to issue complex commands seems most promising, as it’ll significantly increase the number of things Assistant-powered devices can do. I’m not quite thrilled at the prospect of speaking to my appliances, but that’s the future, and that’s how it’s going to be.

Source: The Verge

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