What Is Google Assistant?
Google Assistant is a voice-powered smart assistant created by Google. The assistant is actually an upgrade of Google Now – it performs most of the same things, plus has wider range of new capabilities and has more conversational interface. Initially, Google Assistant was launched as a part of Google-built products only – messaging app Allo, voice activated speaker Google Home and Pixel Phone.
What Can Google Assistant Do?
With Google Assistant available on your smartphone, you can trigger apps and devices, ask all kinds of questions, look up emails and appointments, set important reminders, get directions and advice on where to eat and drink, listen to the news, pull weather forecasts and even control your home.
Google Assistant Facts
- Unlike its rivals – Siri, Cortana and Alexa, Google Assistant doesn’t have any personal name;
- Was launched by Google in May 2016 as a flagship feature of tech giant’s then-new Pixel smartphone;
- Can speak both male and female voices;
- The assistant is not yet available on tablets;
- Has wide language support – English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Portuguese (BR), Spanish, Italian and Korean.
How Does Google Assistant Work?
Google Assistant is designed to be conversational. Like Siri, you can speak to the Assistant in a natural language. Unlike Siri, the Assistant has deeper artificial intelligence and can follow a two-way conversation with you, as well as recall information from previous chats and determine context. For example, if you ask “Who sang the song Like a Virgin?” and then “When did she release it?” – Google will know you are still talking about Madonna and will respond correctly:
As such, talking to the Assistant becomes more human and intelligent. Just use an activation phrase “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google” and start asking questions.
Voice is not the only way to interact with Google Assistant. Let’s say, you are in a public place and talking to your smartphone is not the best idea. In this case, you can text your enquiries to the Assistant. Just tap the little keyboard button in the bottom left corner of the display, which will pull up the keyboard.
Also, you can notice that Google Assistant can answer a wider amount of questions than Siri. That’s because the Assistant refers to Google’s web search each time you ask a question, thus making the response more comprehensive and precise. Siri doesn’t go to the web when you search. It would connect to Apple servers and try to match your question to the most appropriate answer available. If no answer is found, Siri would turn to Bing’s web search results then. Or it would not. Just look at the example below:
What You Can Ask the Google Assistant on Your Phone
There are many ways to use the Assistant throughout the day. You can actually ask the smart helper what exactly it can do for you. In response, you will receive a long ribbon of suggestions you can swipe through:
The total list is really long and covers the following areas:
You can use Google Assistant to make calls, send texts and emails just with your voice command. It’s an ideal feature when you need to contact someone while driving or your hands are busy. Google Assistant has an access to all your contacts, so you can text or call anyone on your phone by name. If the person has more than one phone numbers, the Assistant would additionally ask you which number you want to use.
The same is with sending emails via your Gmail account. You can dictate the text of the message and ask the Assistant to read it to you before sending.
2. Providing local information
The Assistant is tailored to you, so it tracks your location to help you get localized answers to questions. For example, you can get the current local weather forecast just by asking: “What is the weather for the weekend?” The Assistant would read out the forecast along with providing information on the screen.
Or you can say: “Find Italian restaurants near me”. Once the restaurant is found, you can ask follow-up questions like: “Is La Palina still open?” followed by “How long will it take to drive there?” As said before, Google Assistant can determine the context, thus will know that by “there” you mean “La Palina” and will open up the best driving route in Google Maps for you.
3. Planning your day
Google Assistant can be used to set reminders, alarms and timers, check flight details and make reservations.
To ask Assistant to set a reminder, just say: “OK, Google”, followed by “remind me to by milk” or “remind me to make laundry when I get home from work”, or “remind me to take out the garbage when I leave home”, etc. You can set a reminder based on the time of day or based on your location. Google will then pop up with the reminder depending on your parameters – on the specified time or when you are leaving the house.
If you have a flight reservation or appointment details in your Gmail, you can ask Assistant “Ok, Google, what is my next flight?” or “when is my next appointment?” Google will pull out the data from your account and deliver the answer immediately.
You can also make a table reservation directly from Google Assistant. It will connect to Open Table app and do all the job asking you some follow-up questions:
4. Photos and media
You can ask Google Assistant to play some music. Just say “OK, Google, play some music”, “play some Jazz”, “play some workout music”, or “listen to Pink on Spotify”, etc. If you have more than one music app, it will give you the option of the service you want to use, open it up and start playing.
You can also get watching Netflix by saying: “OK, Google, watch House of Cards on Netflix” and it will open the thriller on Netflix for you.
To ask Assistant show you your Google photos, just say; “OK, Google, show me my photos on the beach”, and it will pull all your images at the ocean shore. Since Google Photos knows what photos contain, it will return images of desired objects – your pet, food, kids or places.
5. Answer to any question
Whatever question you have, Google knows the answer. You want to know the game update? What’s 7.5% of 200? What does “abnegation” mean? How to say “Nice to meet you” in Japanese? Need summer vacation ideas? Or you want to know how to remove red wine stains from the white T-shirt? Just say “Ok, Google” and Google’s AI will serve up info on just about any subject.
6. Fun and entertainment
Are you bored? Talk to Google. Start with getting to know your Assistant better with the following questions: “OK Google:
- Are you afraid of the dark?”
- What is love?”
- Do you like iPhones?”
- What have I got in my pocket?”
- Are you friends with Siri?”
- What’s the best pickup line?”
You can ask the Assistant to tell you a joke or something interesting, show you a funny video or tell a fact about cats and it will supply you with jokes, riddles and videos from YouTube:
Google Assistant is a great addition to any mobile device. It is smart, simple and helpful. It actually allows you to have natural conversation with Google. As such, don’t miss an opportunity to be connected to the largest, most-used search engine in the world, running 2.5 million servers in Google data centers.