Google Starts Rolling Out Third-party Actions and Keyboard Input for Google Assistant

Zara Ali
Google Assistant for iOS

At the I/O 2017 keynote, Google announced the future support for typing coming on Google Assistant. Now, the company has started rolling out the feature to some users. A new keyboard icon is appearing at the bottom left corner of Google Assistant that lets users type their query instead of asking via voice commands. Also, new Explore, Your Stuff, and Actions on Google tabs are rolling out for the Assistant.

After the update, your Google Assistant will now let you use a standard keyboard with “Type a message” field for typing quick queries. There is also a microphone icon on the right that lets you switch back to voice. For accommodating the new keyboard functionality, the layout of Google Assistant has been slightly tweaked, and it now has smaller colored dots. A new arrow icon has been placed above the panel that lets users enlarge assistant to cover the entire screen.

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Google has also updated its help page to assist users for using keyboard and other input methods on Assistant. Other methods also have "keyboard" option on the help page, which means that users can perform all the functions via keyboard too.

The new Explore, Your Stuff, and Actions on Google tabs are accessible through a new icon in the top right corner on the panel. The first tab inside the panel is for displaying third-party Actions on Google. The second tab pops up a list of tasks that Assistant can perform. Users can access Actions right now by asking the assistant to "Talk to eBay" or any other compatible apps on your phone.

Third-party integration on Google Assistant is a nifty addition. At the I/O 2017, the company demoed pacing food delivery order from Panera - the entire ordering process was done via voice commands. In the future, we will get to see better integration coming from Google and other apps that would make our work easier.

Google Assistant is available on Android devices running Marshmallow and above. It is also available for iOS devices now.

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