Upgrading To A Better Assistant
Voice-activated digital assistants are everywhere these days, and one of the new kids on the block is the Google Assistant. Unveiled in May 2016 at Google I/O, it is a voice-controlled smart assistant that is considered to be an upgraded version of Google Now.
Google Now, which was released in 2012 in an attempt to compete with programs like Apple’s Siri, was initially a way to get a user’s relevant information based on location, time of day and the user’s mobile calendar in order to provide intelligent answers and recommendations. It also delivered information based on your search habits and app history, which to many seemed somewhat invasive but also offered a lot of power.
Google Assistant takes invasive and powerful to a whole new level. This post gives an idea of what to expect when comparing Google Assistant to Google Now:
Google Now is convenient for when you want to use the power of the Internet and your mobile device without actually picking it up — like Siri and Cortana, Google Now offers hands-free accessibility from the lock screen with the command, “OK, Google.” But while Google Now can look up everything you need to know on Google, and access information in your personal Google accounts, it doesn’t really get to know you, and that’s where Google Assistant comes in.
Read more here: The difference between Google Now and Google Assistant
Features of Google Assistant
Google Assistant is more engaging, with the ability to participate in two-way conversations. You can get Google Assistant on a wide range of phones, including the Galaxy S7, LG G6 and other devices running Android 6.0, but even more surprising is that iPhone users can also download an iOS version of Google Assistant.
Not only can it assist with scheduling and unlocking your phone, its newest features include the ability to identify objects and gather visual information through the device’s camera as well as support purchasing products and sending money.
This video demonstrates some cool tricks with Google Assistant:
What Else Can Your Assistant Do?
Besides being a skilled vocalist, your Assistant will be able to identify any song currently being played. Not only that, the app will provide information about the song, including title, artist, lyrics, through Google Play Music, YouTube links, or any third party apps installed on your device.
Google has plans to take over the market when it comes to artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistants on mobile devices. Between Google and Chinese search giant Baidu, they plan to boost their market shares by 31% and 75% respectively by the year 2022.
According to an article from Business Insider:
Devices running Google Assistant account for 46% of the smartphones equipped with personal assistants, but by 2022, Google will expand its market share to exceed 60%.
One of their most impressive features is the introduction of what Google calls “multi-surface conversations.” This refers to interactions between the Assistant on a mobile device and Google Home, the smart speaker developed by Google.
The following post offers an example of how this might work:
An interaction begins on a Google Home device and is then sent to a smartphone for completion. The example Google provides is food ordering that begins on Google Home, with the payment transaction concluding on a smartphone. For relatively obvious reasons, this could be a boon to travel and e-commerce transactions on Google Home.
See the full post here: Google aims to make apps for Google Assistant more functional and discoverable
As mentioned in the above video, using Google Assistant in conjunction with IFTTT will be a huge time saver. With a little bit of effort, your assistant will help you be more efficient, productive, and organized.