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Google Assistant

What is Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is Google's very own voice-controlled smart assistant. It's considered an upgrade or an extension of Google Now - designed to be personal - while expanding on Google's existing "OK Google" voice controls.

For anyone who has been using an Android device for some time, you'll know that the Google Now feature smartly pulls out relevant information for you. It knows where you work, and it knows your meeting locations and travel plans, the sports teams you like, and what interests you. This data is presented to you in cards and through reminders on your Android device.

The "OK Google" or "Hey, Google" side covers voice commands, voice searching, and voice-activated device control, letting you do things like sending messages, check appointments and so on your Android device, just like Apple's Siri on an iPhone or iPad. Google Assistant fuses all this together with a new bot-centric AI experience, designed to give you conversational interactions that cover both these areas and more.

Which devices offer Google Assistant?

Google Assistant launched on the Google Pixel smartphones and Google Home in 2016. It's available on Android Wear devices via Android Wear 2.0, Android TV via Nvidia Shield (and soon to be Sony TVs), and Android Auto. Originally, Google said Assistant would be exclusive to the Pixel phones, but this soon changed, with the company confirming it would come to Marshmallow and Nougat devices.

Since then, we've seen Assistant make its way to devices like the LG G6, Samsung Galaxy S8, and OnePlus 5. However, the full experience is deeply integrated into the Pixel devices, so you'll get an awful lot more out of it than you can on other Android devices.

Google hasn't officially confirmed the full device list for the Google Assistant upgrade, but it comes as part of a Google Play Services update for devices running Android Nougat and Android Marshmallow, meaning that many phones should be supported. Google Assistant supports English, German, French, Japanese, and Portuguese, and Google has said it will roll out support for more languages.

Smart home appliances

GE Appliances announced in May 2017 that some of its connected appliances will integrate with Google Home. The lineup includes refrigerators, dishwashers, laundry machines, and water heaters. With the Google integration, users of Google Assistant or the Google Home device can use voice commands to do things like turn on the oven or check on a load of laundry.

But Assistant won't exactly control the devices directly. Your commands work by going through Geneva, the skill GE developed for Amazon Alexa. So your commands will have to start with the phrase "Ok Google, ask Geneva Home..." For instance, "Ok Google, ask Geneva Home to make hot water" or "to set the freezer to -10 degrees" or ""to set [the oven's] timer for 20 minutes", etc.

Google Home devices

Google Home is the company's direct competitor to the Amazon Echo and launched in the US in November 2016, since then, it's been made more widely available. It launched in the UK in spring 2017, with a British accent. Google Home is essentially a Chromecast enabled-speaker that serves as a voice-controlled assistant. You can ask it to do anything you'd ask Assistant to do on Android phones.

Following the launch of the Amazon Echo Dot, Google unveiled the Home Mini in October 2017. The Mini can do everything the regular sized Home can do but in a much smaller package. It can be connected to other speakers and hi-fi systems to play through them, too.

The Home Max is much larger than the Home and Google's answer to the Apple HomePod. It's designed with music playback in mind and so features two 4.5-inch woofers alongside two 0.7-inch tweeters. It too has Assistant built-in and with music playback, its targeted use can play music from a variety of sources including Google Play Music, YouTube, and Spotify.
Google Assistant Reviewed by ASM Design on October 08, 2017 Rating: 5 What is Google Assistant? Google Assistant is Google's very own voice-controlled smart assistant. It's considered...

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