This week Google Assistant had several updates important enough to make it to my notes for episodes. Let’s start reviewing them.
First, monetization, just a week after Amazon announced consumables API for Alexa Google released the ability to sell digital goods, a way for Action creators to offer digital subscriptions and goods to consumers. The novelty is in the digital part, as the API already offered physical products.
As a follow up the Google team also introduced a new sign-in service for the Assistant that allows developers to log in and link their accounts. According to TechCrunch: Starbucks has already integrated this feature into its Assistant experience to give users access to their rewards account. Adding the new Sign-In for the Assistant has almost doubled its conversion rate.
Book rides with Lyft or Uber
Starting this past Thursday Google Assistant users will be able to book rides through Uber or Lyft. Siri and Alexa already let you book rides on Uber and Alexa also in Lyft for some time now. Considering that Google has the map advantage, or, actually the ecosystem of apps advantage it was about time.
Voice access publicly available, an important step for accessibility.
The next update is Voice Access made publicly available this week. The app is tied directly to the Google Voice assistant, designed to make it easier for users to navigate a wider range of tasks via voice command instead of manual actions. It accomplishes that by letting users essentially translates a button push, page scroll or item selection into a voice command that Google Assistant can easily follow.
The Google Assistant mobile app gets more visual, aligning with smart displays
Google Assistant also got more visual last week: with a visual redesign of its Assistant experience on phones. Bringing more and larger visuals to the Assistant. The update aligns what users were already seeing on smart displays.
In addition to the visual redesign of the Assistant, Google also today announced a number of new features for developers. Unsurprisingly, one part of this announcement focuses on allowing developers to build their own visual Assistant experiences. Google calls these “rich responses” and provides developers with a set of pre-made visual components that they can easily use to extend their Assistant actions.
Finally, Google acquired AI chatbot startup Onward, a “powered chatbot startup that creates a range of automated customer service and sales tools for business usage.”
That’s all for today. I miss some, but I think these are the most important ones, it shows how they are moving quickly in the space heads on. Exciting times to be alive. Hope the best day for you all.
I’m Mari, your host for VoiceFirst Weekly daily briefing, you can find me on Twitter as @voicefirstlabs and on Instagram as @voicefirstweekly./ You have a great day and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.