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Google Assistant gets slew of new features, better 3rd party integration

Google Assistant gets slew of new features, better 3rd party integration

Working with Google to add Google Assistant voice command recognition to their system was possible before; it's just that now, with this new feature, it's a whole lot easier.

Google has opened up a "Fun House" in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest where they're presumably showing off all these cool new features, so if you're in the area head over and check them out.

Google has announced during SXSW 2018 its opening the Assistant up to third-parties so OEMs can build custom commands for different products. The latest update adds more functionality to this feature.

Actions on Google is essentially meant for developers to build integrations for Google's voice assistant.

Amazon's Alexa may have more "skills" and connect with more services, but when it comes to artificial intelligence smarts, Google Assistant has the competition beat (sorry Siri, it isn't even close). Google will allow developers of Actions to plug into digital purchases including paid app purchases, in-app purchases, in-app subscriptions and the likes. This allows for more audio experiences like "longer meditation sessions, relaxing sounds, clips from your favorite TV shows and news briefings".

Until recently, device makers big and small had to use the same Google Assistant regardless of whether they were making the Assistant work with phones, fridges or lights.

Of all the features, the ability to issue complex commands seems most promising, as it'll significantly increase the number of things Assistant-powered devices can do. On your phone, audio from Actions will produce a media notification you can use to manage playback as well. Some of today's changes include media playback, Assistant-enabled devices, and subscriptions. For instance, you can be notified of news alerts when they happen.

An example the company cites is the distinction between a general instruction that goes "Turn on the oven" and the more specific "Set the oven to convection and preheat to 350 degrees".

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