In a video earlier today, Google announced its new Google Assistant platform. After launching the video, Google rolled out its Assistant to Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow devices – and some of you already have it.
Why should you care about the new Google Assistant? How is it different from OK Google / Google Now? Let’s take a closer look at 4 things you need to know about the Google Assistant:
4) It Does Most of the Things OK Google Does
If you’re used to using OK Google on your phone, then the new Google Assistant offers similar functionality. In fact, the introductory video for the Google Assistant mostly highlighted features you can already perform with OK Google:
When you first get Google Assistant on your phone, you probably won’t get blown away. People are excited for the potential of Google Assistant, but its feature-set at launch is very similar to OK Google / Google Now.
3) The Main Difference Is Its API
Why are people excited about the launch of Google Assistant if it’s mostly just a new face to OK Google?
The exciting part about Google Assistant is that it has an API developers can use to create their own voice commands. With OK Google, this functionality was only available on Google-branded apps. Now, it’s opening up to the wider Android ecosystem.
In practical terms, that means the developers behind Spotify can add a voice command saying, “Play Hip Hop Road trip playlist”, and the app will listen.
Confused about how OK Google, Google Now, and Google Assistant are all linked together?
Think of Google Assistant as the evolved form of Google Now. Google Now was designed to show you your sports scores, weather, news articles, and other information Google thought you might like.
Google Assistant also has that functionality, but it’s bundled into a more AI-like platform. You can interact with it more easily, and use Google Assistant to control more parts of your Android device – like non-Google apps.
1) It’s Had a Confusing Rollout So Far
Google claimed to launch Assistant at the same time as the vide listed above. However, most users have complained about rollout issues, including not getting Assistant yet – or getting it then watching the app get disabled within a week.
Apparently, Google is implementing a server-side rollout of Assistant. On Reddit, one Canadian S7 Edge user claimed to have received the Assistant update, although most American Android users have been left in the dark.
Stay tuned to Search4Roots for more information about the Google Assistant update going forward!