Google Assistant to gain multilingual support, more languages & deeper device integrations

The Verge

With some phone manufacturers pushing their own smart assistants, it's possible that not everyone will jump on board with this, but the ability sounds like it should be handy where it's supported. By the end of the year, Google expects it to work in more than 30 languages, up from 8 today. Google says that offering 30 different languages covers 95 percent of Android users, so while they don't plan to stop at only 30 languages, that's a good place to aim. Currently, while you can switch the language the Assistant will recognize, you can only speak to it in one language in any given session.

Google says that the Assistant will be available to "Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai" speakers in the next couple of months, with more languages set to be supported throughout 2018. The first to be supported for on-the-fly switching are English, French, and German.

The language support will also expand so you can speak multiple languages to your Assistant, making way for multi-lingual speakers to address the Assistant in the language they feel comfortable with at that moment - say, French at work and English at home, or any other combination. In addition to more language support, Assistant will become multilingual too.

Amazon first brought multitask Routines to Alexa last fall.

Non-Google handsets - that it, any Android which isn't a Google Pixel - will soon be able to hear the "hey Google" or "okay Google" command while their screens are off. Just ask Assistant on your speaker and when you get to the store, the Assistant on your phone will remind you.

Finally, there will be new location-based reminders that users can set on Google Home but receive when there' someplace else, on their phones.

Routines will combine multiple actions into just one command.

Google wants to make the Assistant more phone-friendly, so it has been working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring all the Assistant's capabilities to non-Google Android phones.

Google's voice-activated assistant is branching out to Nest's deluxe security camera in an expansion that may amplify the privacy concerns surrounding internet-connected microphones. The first may sound unusual - Assistant is already integrated into your phone, after all - but it isn't yet closely integrated with the specific hardware and software of every device.

In the coming weeks, Google Assistant will be updated with routines and location-based reminders.

The Assistant Carrier program "helps mobile carriers use capabilities in the Assistant to give their customers more insight and control over their service".

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