March 18, 2018

Google Assistant gets Media Playback control along with Notifications and more

10 March 2018, 03:45 | Dale Webster

Google Assistant Get's Is Most Significant Update Till Date

Google Assistant gets slew of new features, better 3rd party integration

Let's have a look at what Google has in store for the users related to its AI assistant.

Finally, here's a big one, OEMs will now be able to add custom Assistant commands to their devices. These basically allow Assistant devices to understand more specific voice commands.

According to The Verge, with this announcement, Google has handed off some of this work to manufacturers which would reportedly give the companies more flexibility and make Assistant more helpful.

Also coming to the Google Assistant today is media playback support for Actions on smart speakers and Android phones and new Actions from American Idol, iHeartRadio, and others.

Improved media playback: A user will now be able to access and control additional playback content like a clip from a TV show etc. The latest wrinkle is that you can subscribe to third-party Actions and get daily push notification updates.

Meanwhile, expanded notification features for Assistant Actions are now out of beta.

Google Assistant is getting more versatile, with new features being announced at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. Developers of Actions do need to add this feature, so not all of them will work out of the gate.

While I typically use my Google Assistant to play music, control my lights and set timers, it's easy to dream about what else could be possible-like an Assistant that could help organize my sock drawer or bring me a cold drink while relaxing on the couch. Voice commands can be used to pause or replay media, and a media player will appear on your phone. For example, you can tell Assistant you want a daily update on cryptocurrency prices from CoinBase. For example, if a washer has a specific color cycle, you could activate that cycle simply by asking the Google Assistant. Once the update is official a user will be able to record and send a 30 sec video message if and when the recipient is not picking up the call or declines the call for some odd reason. Esquire and Forbes are some of the websites that have added the new functionality. You wouldn't have to say "Talk to X" before issuing a complex custom command.

Developers can take advantage of most of these features right now. End users will see things change gradually as updates roll out.

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