Google Assistant is learning new Routines and languages

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24 February, 2018

Perhaps more importantly, Google will also be working with its partners to expand the capabilities of Assistant on handsets.

"The Assistant is already available in eight languages, and by the end of the year it will be available in more than 30 languages, reaching 95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide", Google VP of product Nick Fox said today in a blog post. Nest originally promised Google Assistant for the Cam IQ back in September, when it launched the outdoor version of the camera alongside a new video doorbell and home security system.

Over the past year and a half, the Google Assistant has grown from being available on just one device in one language to across many types of devices, including speakers, phones, Android Auto and TVs, in many languages all around the world. When it launched, it only supported one - English - and right now the digital assistant supports Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Korean, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese.

Language is an area where Google lags behind Apple's Siri, which can already speak 20 languages (including Mandarin and Cantonese, which Google cannot) and in some cases several dialects of each - for example, Siri speaks nine English dialects.

Google Assistant is about to give the term multilingual a whole new meaning.

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Amazon first brought multitask Routines to Alexa last fall.

Routines could help Assistant become more useful for a broader group of users. In the coming weeks, the Google Assistant will be able to perform six routines that help with starting the day, commuting to and from work and an evening at home.

Google Assistant had its coming out party at Mobile World Congress 2017 with the announcement that it was expanding beyond Google's own Pixel phones, and now it's ready to take on the world. On the Google Home smart speaker, the assistant can now be set to understand either English, French, German or Japanese. For example, you can set a reminder to submit a report to your boss, and the Assistant will remind you when you get to work.

The company will also implement deeper integration between Google Assistant and both smartphones and carriers throughout this year. Perhaps more exciting, Google notes that "we'll also have new integrations from LG, Sony Mobile and Xiaomi". So, if you say "Hey Google, goodnight", to your Google Home, the Assistant could turn off the connected lights, lock the doors, and shut off the music in one fell swoop.


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