Google Assistant was unveiled at Google I/O 2016 but some key features have been shown this year at I/O 2017.
Since the Assistant’s release over 50 new features have been added and there are no signs of slowing down as Scott Huffman has shown us.
One of Assistant’s new tricks is the ability to type to it, avoiding the awkwardness of speaking to your phone in any public area. As well as this, the inclusion of Google Lens allows interactions with Assistant through your camera. The selling point of Lens is that it can interact with the world around you and give you search results based upon what you point the camera at, for example if you saw a poster advertising your favourite band’s concert, use Lens to see if tickets are still available then book them if they are, no typing required.
The incorporation of Lens into Assistant means that if you pointed your camera at a sign in a foreign language it could translate the text for you. Lets say that the text was advertising food that you hadn’t heard of before, you could then ask Assistant “What does it look like” and it would bring up pictures of that dish, without having to type or say its name. It would take all the details it needs from the camera using Lens.
A major announcement is that Google Assistant is coming to the iPhone. It will be available on all devices on iOS 9.1+. This is a very smart decision from Google as it will bring people into the Google ecosystem. It will mean that regardless of what side of the smartphone fence you sit on Assistant will be available for you. Unfortunately it is only available in the US on launch but we hope it wont be too long before it hits the UK. Get it on the app store.
Assistant will soon be available in more languages. Beginning in the summer Assistant will be available in German, French, Brazilian, Portuguese and Japanese and by the end of the year support for Italian, Spanish and Korean will arrive.