What’s Google Assistant and what can it do?

Google’s model of Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri is Google Assistant. It has made unimaginable progress since its 2016 launch and might be probably the most superior and dynamic of the assistants on the market.

Google has unfold Assistant far and vast, not solely by itself {hardware}, however via partnerships with different firms that see Google Assistant in an enormous vary of units, from fridges and headphones, to speakers and automobiles.


Here is how Google Assistant works and what it’s good to find out about Google’s AI.

What’s Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is Google’s voice assistant. When it launched, Google Assistant was an extension of Google Now, designed to be private whereas increasing on Google’s current “OK Google” voice controls.

Initially, Google Now neatly pulled out related info for you. It knew the place you labored, your conferences and journey plans, the sports activities groups you appreciated, and what you in order that it might current you with info that mattered to you.

Google has lengthy since killed Google Now, however Assistant lives in the identical house, fusing these personalised parts with a wide-range of voice management. Google Assistant helps each textual content or voice entry and it’ll observe the dialog whichever entry methodology you are utilizing.


What can Google Assistant do?

Google Assistant gives voice instructions, voice looking out, and voice-activated machine management, letting you full quite a few duties after you’ve got stated the “OK Google” or “Hey Google” wake phrases. It’s designed to provide you conversational interactions.

Google Assistant will:

  • Management your units and your sensible residence
  • Entry info out of your calendars and different private info
  • Discover info on-line, from restaurant bookings to instructions, climate and information
  • Management your music
  • Play content material in your Chromecast or different appropriate units
  • Run timers and reminders
  • Make appointments and ship messages
  • Open apps in your cellphone
  • Learn your notifications to you
  • Actual-time spoken translations
  • Play video games

Continued Dialog means you do not have to say “Hey Google” for follow-up requests. As an alternative, as soon as you’ve got began speaking to Google, it listens for a response without having a set off phrase on a regular basis. Google can even recognise voice profiles for various individuals, so it is aware of who’s speaking to it and may tailor the responses accordingly. It’s also possible to ask for a number of issues on the similar time.

As Google Assistant is aware of you and understands context, it can react in an knowledgeable or sensible method. That is essential because it provides voice management much more energy and strikes it on from solely reacting to particular phrases or instructions. It is designed to be extra than simply reactive.

Options embody the power to test in to your flight (airline and vacation spot dependant), in addition to the power to ebook a room with some companions and there is an Interpreter Mode on Google Nest devices and smart displays too. With it, you’ll be able to ask Google Assistant that can assist you conduct a dialog in dozens of languages. Simply say “Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter” to begin Interpreter Mode and get real-time spoken and (on Good Shows) written translation to assist the dialog.

Google Assistant in Nest units kinds the muse of smart home control. It is appropriate with a variety of units, so you’ll be able to management heating, lights, and a heaps extra together with your voice, though the identical expertise is on the market via all Google Assistant interfaces.

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Which units provide Google Assistant?

Google Assistant initially launched on the Google Pixel smartphones and Google Home, however it’s now accessible to only about all fashionable Android units, together with Wear OS devices, Android TV, and Nvidia Shield, in addition to any automobiles that assist Android Auto and different units too, like Nest cameras and the Lenovo Good Clock.

Google Assistant is native to Google Nest (previously Google House) sensible audio system, but it surely’s additionally broadly accessible on other smart speakers from third-party producers together with Sony, Sonos, LG and Panasonic. Equally, it is broadly supported by headphones (when linked to an Android cellphone).

Good residence units like Philips Hue and Ikea’s Home Smart range, for instance, may be managed by Google Assistant and never simply via Google Nest, however wherever you occur to work together with Assistant.

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Google Assistant on telephones

Google Assistant is on the market on Android phones, with all latest fashions providing the AI system. Even units that supply one other AI system, like Samsung’s Bixby, additionally provide Google Assistant. Primarily, in case your cellphone has Android with GMS (Google Cell Companies), your cellphone has Google Assistant – so that does not embody Huawei units.

It is doable to have Assistant reply to you even when your Android cellphone is locked too in case you opt-in via your settings and you can too opt-in to see solutions to private queries too.

Google Assistant can also be available on iPhones, though there are some restrictions.

Google Assistant in apps

Google Assistant may help you navigate in Google Maps, on each Android and iOS units. Along with your voice, you’ll be able to share your ETA with family and friends, reply to texts, play music and podcasts, seek for locations alongside your route, or add a brand new cease, all in Google Maps.

Google Assistant can even auto-punctuate your message (on Android and iOS telephones) and skim again and reply to all of your notifications (Android solely).

Assistant works with many standard messaging apps and SMS, together with WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and extra. When driving, Google Assistant can auto-calculate your ETA from Google Maps and may ship it to pals too, in case you have an Android machine.

Google Nest units

Google Nest audio system are the corporate’s direct competitor to the Amazon Echo. Nest Audio is a Chromecast-enabled speaker that serves as a voice-controlled assistant. It is the primary port of name for Google Assistant within the residence and it is an increasing ecosystem. There are presently 5 units accessible within the Nest speaker portfolio together with the Nest Audio, Google House Max, Nest Mini, the second-generation Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max.

You’ll be able to ask Google Nest units to do something you’d ask Assistant to do on Android telephones, however shifting into the house actually places the emphasis on different companies and capabilities, like sensible residence management, compatibility with Chromecast to ship films to your TV, and a complete lot extra.

Learn our Google Nest tips and tricks to get probably the most out of Google Assistant in your Google Nest machine.

Put on OS

Google Assistant can also be accessible on wearables working Put on OS. Utilizing the wake phrases, you can ask Assistant to carry out quite a few duties out of your watch, comparable to turning the heating down, or replying to a message.

Google/Android TV

Android TV additionally gives Google Assistant on quite a few units. Sony gives Android TV throughout its fashions, for instance. There’s one other dimension right here although: Sony TVs not solely run Android TV, however they’re additionally appropriate with Google Nest, that means you’ll be able to management your TV by speaking to your speaker, in addition to management your lights by speaking to your TV.

Set-top bins like Nvidia Defend TV additionally assist Google Assistant and the record of standard media and leisure units supporting Assistant is consistently increasing, with TVs from Samsung additionally within the combine, in addition to DISH’s Hopper household of receivers. With Google Assistant built-in, you should use your voice to activate the TV, change the quantity and channels, and swap between inputs.

Companions with Android TV units and Google Assistant embody Sony, Hisense, Philips, TCL, Skyworth, Xiaomi, Haier, Changhong, JVC and Toshiba.

Extra just lately, Google has launched Google TV, which is the interface that runs excessive of Android TV and is mostly changing uncooked Android TV – once more, it helps Assistant to assist in trying to find content material – in addition to controlling playback from different Assistant-enabled units. An instance is the Chromecast with Google TV, which gives Google Assistant proper from the distant.

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Headphones and earbuds

There’s assist for Google Assistant in lots of wi-fi headphones, too, together with the Bose QuietComfort 45 and Google’s personal Pixel Buds, in addition to fashions from manufacturers like Harman, JBL, Sony, and others.

With this sort of integration, you’ll be able to entry the AI assistant with out opening your cellphone – often, you simply press a button and begin speaking to Google Assistant.

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Google sensible shows

The race to be in every single place in your house is on, with Google having its personal tackle the Echo Show within the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max.

Good shows providing Google Assistant additionally embody firms like JBL, Lenovo and LG. The Lenovo Smart Display is on the market in 7-inch, 8-inch and 10.1-inch display choices.

The JBL Link View in the meantime, has a pair of 10W audio system and an 8-inch touchscreen.


Google Assistant is on the market in automobiles that assist Android Auto, though Android Automotive has seen a Google-based UI in some latest automobiles, for example, Polestar.

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Good residence units and home equipment

As we have talked about, numerous linked units are appropriate with Google Assistant, from lightbulbs to fridges and the whole lot else in between. Assistant works with over 1000 residence automation manufacturers and greater than 10,000 units.

There is a full record of Google Assistant partners here, however here is a rundown of among the essential appropriate units:

  • Canary
  • Hive
  • Honeywell
  • Ikea
  • iRobot
  • LG home equipment
  • Logitech
  • Nest
  • Netatmo
  • Osram
  • Philips Hue
  • Ring
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Tado
  • TP-Hyperlink
  • WeMo
  • Whirlpool

These units may be managed by Google Assistant, that means you’ll be able to flip lights and switches on and off. You’ll be able to change the heating or get an alert that your cleansing is completed or a washing cycle is completed.

Google Assistant can also be compatible with IFTTT, so customized recipes may be created. As we have stated earlier than, you additionally do not must be speaking to Google House; you should use Assistant in your cellphone to work together – basically, when you arrange a tool by way of the Google House app in your cellphone, that management can be accessible anyplace you’ll be able to work together with Google Assistant – in the identical method that Amazon Alexa works.

What’s Google Assistant Join?

Google Assistant Join is a platform that machine producers can use to carry Google Assistant into units extra simply and cheaply. For customers, which means it is best to see various kinds of sensible units coming quickly.

For instance, Google stated a accomplice might create an E-Ink show that initiatives the climate or your calendar, whereas utilizing Assistant Connect with ship content material out of your linked sensible speaker.

Google Assistant will deal with the so-called “higher-order computing” – understanding what’s on the calendar, checking for updates, and so forth.

How do I do know if my cellphone has Google Assistant?

To test in case your cellphone has Google Assistant, say “OK Google” or press and maintain the house button – or faucet the microphone within the Google search bar. That is the place to begin for Assistant, after which you’ll be able to kind or communicate and have Assistant reply. Often, through the set-up of an Android, you may be prompted to configure Assistant.

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Google Assistant vs Amazon Alexa

That is at all times the massive query: Which is best – Assistant or Amazon Alexa?

Each these platforms go head-to-head, providing related units in addition to related capabilities. The ambitions are typically the identical, to be a cross-device private assistant. Google has an apparent benefit in relation to Android: it is aware of who you might be, what you seek for, your pals, looking habits, the content material of your calendar and the place you go, all because of the type of knowledge residing in Android.

Alexa, however, is aware of what you purchase on Amazon.

However that Android benefit extends additional. It is baked into the OS of many telephones (not iPhone customers), so you may have Google Assistant with you on a regular basis. Amazon Alexa has a smartphone app, but it surely’s not as built-in into telephones.

Google Assistant feels at residence on a cellphone, with entry to extra capabilities across the cellphone – like launching apps. Google has hotword assist on telephones, too, whereas Alexa hotword assist is restricted to units like Amazon’s personal Hearth tablets.

Relating to assist, Alexa feels prefer it has extra partnerships and {hardware}.

However, Google is smarter in coping with primary capabilities: Alexa must know which mild to activate and off, particularly, whereas Google will simply allow you to flip the whole lot on or off without having a bunch establishing or units to be named.

Google can also be higher a routing out info, typically supplying you with higher search outcomes. On a cellphone, naturally, discovering addresses and navigation is a core talent. Alexa will discover addresses and report on visitors, however that is not fairly the identical as having access to actual navigation and maps.

Once more, the smartphone benefit provides Google an edge right here.

However in relation to residence duties, like taking part in music or working with these appropriate units, the expertise could be very shut – and a point of non-public desire will come into it. Amazon has the sting with units (there’s higher selection in Echo and the system in a single step forward, with Google presently taking part in catch-up), and speaking to Alexa feels nicer than speaking to Google. It is a extra comfy expression.

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