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Google Updates Assistant on Phones with a New Touch-Friendly Design

04 October, 2018, 18:57 | Author: Vicki Mclaughlin
  • Google Starts to Monetize Voice By Bringing Paid Digital Goods, Subscriptions to Google Assistant

For starters, buttons, images, text, and other on-screen Assistant elements have all been scaled up for easier viewing and tapping. Part on-demand, part push notifications, and a bunch of "we know you better than you know you", Google Assistant manages your calendar, searches, contacts, commutes, and so much more. With the latest makeover, Google wants Assistant to be easier to control "whether you prefer to use your hands, your voice, or a combination of the two". Additionally, Google has also announced a number of new features for developers.

Google Assistant is one of the most common virtual assistants built into modern Android smartphones - even in phones that have their own proprietary AI, like Samsung's Bixby, Google Assistant makes an appearance. The same concept applies if you ask Assistant to lower or raise the volume of a nearby smart speaker.

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There's also a commercial side to the new update with Google allowing "developers and brands" access to "take full advantage of the phone screen". Starbucks now has thumbnails to select from recommended items on their menus, Food Network has larger images of their recipes, and FitStar uses GIFs to give you a preview of your workout. With Assistant open, just swipe up-this will open the Overview interface, with information about your day and your recent Assistant commands.

Digital purchases in Actions could include things like premium subscriptions. The blog post doesn't specifically say whether the update is rolling out or not, but we can assume it's now rolling out on iOS and Android over the coming days. The Action gets linked to the user's Google account. The timing is not coincidental; the Pixel 3 arrives next week and is expected to usher in the best of Google in both hardware and software.

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