At the MWC come next week, a lot of new hardware will be the major stars of the show like the Galaxy S9, LG V30S, however they aren’t the only things that we all should be on the lookout for. Just a few days before the trade show, Google has announced some new features that will be coming to Google Assistant throughout the year.
The most significant of the announcement is the expansion of the Assistant to more languages. According to Google, the Assistant will support 30 new languages by the end of the year 2018, some of which are Hindi, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Indonesian, Thai, and Swedish. Sometime later this year, the Google Assistant will be becoming multilingual allowing users to speak fluently to the Assistant in multiple languages on the go. First it will work with English, then German, then French.
This year will also be doubling-down on its Assistant Mobile OEM program. The purpose of this is to give manufacturers opportunity to create improved integrations with the Assistant into their phones, adding things like device-specific commands and ensuring the Assistant responds even when the screen of the phone is off. Google notes that, “we’ll also have new integrations from LG, Sony Mobile and Xiaomi.”
Concerning the user-facing changes, there’s still some work to be done. Now, a user can set location-based reminders on their phone with the Assistant, but in a few weeks, they could also do the same with a smart speaker like Google Home. For instance, you could say, “Ok, Google, remind me to buy eggs at Walmart,” and then you’ll get a reminder when you reach the store.
In the weeks to come, we’ll also see the launch of Routines in the United States. Google first announced Routines last year which allows you to perform multiple tasks with just one command. At first there’ll be six Routines, one will allow you to say “Ok, Google, I’m Home” to turn your lights on, listen to any reminders you have, and start playing music.