Actions on Google get better media playback, more subscriptions, and custom commands

The Verge
The Verge

13 March, 2018

The latest update adds more functionality to this feature.

Media-based actions have access to more playback controls starting today. Google will allow developers of Actions to plug into digital purchases including paid app purchases, in-app purchases, in-app subscriptions and the likes.

Google goes a step further, demonstrating Assistant's new abilities with a custom-built robotic arm that follows Google Assistant's instructions to sort socks, and even a custom beer ordering system built into a sofa. While on its own the Google Assistant isn't there just yet, with some creative makers and developers, it's well on its way.

Developers can take advantage of most of these features right now.

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Google Assistant is an interesting tool on Android smartphones that lets you perform tasks with voice commands. This allows for more audio experiences like "longer meditation sessions, relaxing sounds, clips from your favorite TV shows and news briefings". You can pause, skip or do whatever you want to do using an appropriate command to the Google Assistant. For example, you can be notified of a stock price change or news alert as it happens. So you can simply subscribe for the channels using the Voice Command.

There are also new app-specific actions that you can do.

Despite having support for many third party partner apps, the support for complex commands on Google Assistant was missing.

Updates to Google Assistant will be released this week in addition to Custom Device Actions. Users can expect to see these features roll out as they get adopted. Google has said in its official blog post that the Assistant Actions will also support "Custom Device Actions" which enables the Assistant to understand the custom voice commands. For instance, you can ask Google Assistant about weather updates, text or call someone from your contacts, turn Wi-Fi on or off, and much more.

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