What is Google Assistant, how does it work, and which contrivances offer it?
Google is taking on Alexa, Siri, and Cortana with its own voice assistant: Google Assistant.
Google first unveiled Assistant at Google I/O in May 2016, launched it on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, brought it to Google Home and then Android Wear 2.0, afore it commenced it rolling it out to other phones running Android.
More than year on from Google Assistant's launch, Google has spread Assistant far and wide, not only on Google's own hardware, but through partnerships with other companies. That visually perceives Google Assistant in a wide range of contrivances, from fridges to headphones, verbalizers to cars.
What is Google Assistant?
Google Assistant is Google's voice-controlled astute assistant. It's was pristinely an upgrade or extension of Google Now - designed to be personal - while expanding on Google's subsisting "OK Google" voice controls.
Pristinely, Google Now astutely pulled out pertinent information for you: it kenned where you work, and it kenned your meeting locations and peregrinate plans, the sports teams you relished, and what intrigued you so that Now could present you with personal information that mattered. Google has long killed the Google Now brand, but Assistant very much lives in the same space, but fuses these personalised elements with a wide-range of voice control.
The "OK Google" or "Hey, Google" side covers voice commands, voice probing, and voice-activated contrivance control, letting you do things like send messages, check appointments and so on on your Android contrivance, just like Apple's Siri on an iPhone or iPad, but reaching far beyond that, with a bot-centric AI experience, designed to give you conversational interactions.
Because Google Assistant kens you and understands context, it can react in an apprised or perspicacious way. That's paramount as Assistant spreads its wings, because it gives voice control a lot more power and moves it on from only reacting to categorical phrases or commands.
And Google Assistant is now in everything and can control everything, with a full list of Google Assistant partners here.
Which contrivances offer Google Assistant?
Google Assistant launched on the Google Pixel smartphones and Google Home in 2016, afore expanding to just about all modern Android contrivances. It's available on Android Wear contrivances via Android Wear 2.0, Android TV via Nvidia Shield and others and Android Auto. At launch, Google verbally expressed Assistant would be exclusive to the Pixel phones, but it was anon available on all Marshmallow and later phones, and even the Apple iPhone.
With Google offering its own range of perspicacious verbalizers - Google Home - it moved into an incipient realm, sanctioning Google Assistant to work with third parties to bring other products under the control of the keenly intellective AI. That sanctioned contrivances like Philips Hue to be controlled by Google Assistant and not just through Google Home, but wherever you transpire to interact with Assistant.
But it isn't a one-way street from Google platforms to other contrivances, as Google Assistant is withal integrated into astute verbalizers, headphones, appliances, and just about everything else you can cerebrate of.
Assistant is genuinely everywhere at this point, ambulating a path that's very kindred to Amazon's Alexa.
On older Android Smartphones
Google commenced rolling out an update in February 2017 for Android 7.0 Nougat and 6.0 Marshmallow phones. Since then, assuredly every phone has offered Google Assistant, sometimes alongside other AI offerings.
Samsung, for example, includes Google Assistant alongside Bixby, while HTC offers Assistant alongside Alexa on some of its phones.
Android L phones and Android M and N tablets
In December 2017, Google promulgated it is expanding its Google Assistant accommodation so that it will be available on more mobile contrivances. It's coming to Android Lollipop phones as well as Android Marshmallow and Nougat tablets. It'll be available on Android Lollipop phones where Google Assistant is already available, like the UK.
With this major expansion, Google verbally expressed over 50 per cent of Android users across the world will have access to Google Assistant on their contrivances. Withal, now, for the first time, it's coming to Android M and N tablets. With Google Assistant on tablets, you can do all the customary stuff: set reminders, integrate to your shopping list, and more.
However, it's only rolling out to tablet users with the language set to English in the US. It will be coming to more languages next year, Google verbalized.