At the Google I/O developers conference, the company launched Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL premium mid-range smartphones and Google Nest Hub Max. Along with that, the company made a number of announcements related to the Google Assistant. Here’s the list of all those features.
10x Faster Speed
While showcasing the new features of the Google Assistant on stage, one of the major announcement related to this service made by Google is the speed of Assistant. The company claims this new version of Assistant will process requests up to 10 times faster than the current model.
Google has slimmed down the AI models used to listen to and interpret speech. They are now small enough to run directly on-device. Earlier, it used to send data to remote servers for processing.
Duplex on the web
Google is extending Duplex to the web. It will be available later this year in English in the U.S. and U.K. on Android phones, with support for Assistant features for completing tasks.
With the Assistant powered by Duplex on the web, you can complete these tasks much faster since it fills out complex forms for you. You won’t have to navigate through a number of pages, pinching and zooming to fill out all online forms.
You just have to say something like “Hey Google, book a rental car from Hertz for my next trip,” and Duplex will pull up the website and start filling out all the necessary information.
The Driving Mode comes with voice commands, aiming to make it easier to interact with your device and access the information you need without the need to take your hands off the wheel.
This can be activated by saying, “Hey Google, let’s drive.” Once turned on, Assistant displays a dashboard with shortcuts to the most relevant activities.
If you have a reservation at a restaurant on your Google Calendar, Assistant will offer a shortcut to navigate to your dinner spot. Most used contacts will also be placed front and center so they are easy to get ahold of if needed.
Thanks to Continued Conversation, you can make several requests in a row without having to say “Hey Google” each time. So, when the alarm rings in the morning, you can just say or shout “Stop!” and the alarm will stop ringing.
So, you will no longer need to say “Hey, Google, turn off the alarm.” This seems like a major development as Google is trying to make it work more like a natural conversation and not like a programmed robot with specific voice commands.
Google announced that in the coming months, the Assistant will be able to better understand personal references. As the Assistant understands you better, it can also offer more useful suggestions. It also takes contextual cues, like the time of day, into account when you’re asking for help.
For example, after you’ve told the Assistant which contact is “mom,” you’ll be able to ask more naturally like, “What’s the weather like at mom’s house this weekend?” or, “Remind me to order flowers a week before my sister’s birthday.”
The company stressed that you always have control over your personal information, and can add, edit or remove details from the “You” tab in Assistant settings at any time.
- The next-generation Assistant will be available for new Pixel phones later this year
- Duplex on the web will be available later this year in English in the U.S. and U.K. on Android phones
- Driving Mode will be available in the coming months to existing car models that work with Hyundai’s “Blue Link” and Mercedes-Benz’s “Mercedes me connect.”
As per the data released by Google, the Assistant is now working on over one billion devices. It is available in over 30 languages across 80 countries and works with over 30,000 unique connected devices for the home from more than 3,500 brands.