Big changes coming to Google Assistant in 2018

It will play nicer with third-party apps


Day one has wrapped at the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we’ve got a whole bunch of news from Google. The search giant dropped a bunch of information on new updates and features coming to Google Assistant.

Google Assistant: What’s New

By the end of this year, Google’s aim is to have more than 30 languages available on its AI-enabled Assistant. Seven of those languages are now available, taking the total tally to 15. The new languages in question are: Hindi, Thai, Indonesian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Dutch.

A new feature called Android Link will help better integrate Google Assistant with third-party apps. Currently it’s simple to ask Assistant to check the weather or send a reminder, but asking it to send a message through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger can be somewhat clunky at times. With Android Link, developers will be able to create Actions that connect Assistant to information or tasks in their apps. The feature was showed off by asking Assistant about a parking reservation with Spothero. Assistant opened the app on the phone and brought up all the info for the upcoming reservation. It is expected to roll out to developer accounts in the coming weeks.

Developers also face an issue of lack of information from users in order to complete a specific task. The perfect is example is ordering an Uber. You need to tell Assistant when you want it, your current location, your destination and the kind of Uber you want as well. Instead of creating their own code for each tasks, Google is helping developers with a custom code that will handle location-based functions.

Google Assistant: AI Future

Assistant is getting ever closer to becoming a full-fledged AI. Google has built in a new “memory” function. It will keep note of all information passing through it in relation to all apps. Think about the above Uber example with Android Link. Assistant will remember where you’ve been and use that knowledge to auto-complete the same request next time. Creepy? Sure. Cool? Definitely!

Google is obviously not slowing down and Assistant is poised to reign in the ongoing smart assistant wars.