Google Assistant is putting on its armor and heading into battle with Amazon Alexa, and at CES 2018, it’s proving just how many weapons it has in its arsenal. The popular virtual assistant serves as your personal version of Google, and over the course of the last 365 days, plenty of folks have opted for that degree of personalization. In fact, Scott Huffman, vice president of Google Assistant, noted in a blog post that the AI helper is now live on more than 400 million devices.
Over the course of the next 365 days, Google is looking to grow that number even further, and is doing so by bringing its intelligent assistant to more products across more industries than ever before. Here’s a quick peek at the many Google Assistant-enabled products we have to look forward to in 2018.
Google Home may have been the original Assistant-enabled product for your household, but it certainly isn’t the last. Smart speakers have increased in popularity in recent months, as evidenced by the fact that Google has sold more than one of these speakers every second since October. Consequently, Google is making Assistant even more available to other speakers, too, including those from Bang & Olufsen, Braven, JBL, LG, Knit Audio and more.
To compete with the Amazon Echo Show, Google is also bringing Assistant to smart displays. That means you can watch videos from YouTube, video call with Google Duo, find photos from Google Photos, and more, all by uttering a command. And later in 2018, Assistant will be coming to smart displays from four companies: JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony.
Assistant is being rolled out to even more existing Android TVs, including models from TCL, Skyworth, and Xiaomi. Later this week, companies like Changhong, Funai, and Haier will be debuting Android TVs with Google Assistant. Google says that it’s also collaborated with LG to integrate the smart helper into a new line of LG televisions set to make an appearance in the next few months.
Google has made Assistant increasingly compatible with a whole host of home-control brands — 225 to be exact. It says 1,500 devices now work with Assistant, including new gadgets from Abode, Gourmia, Insteon, and Yonomi.
If you’re looking to keep Google Assistant in your ear, 2018 is the year to do it. JBL, LG, and Sony headphones will soon be Assistant-optimized, which means that once they’re paired with your smartphone, you can talk to Assistant immediately with nothing more than the touch of an earbud. That means you can easily get notifications, respond to messages, or skip to the next song.
Assistant is making its way to Android Auto to help drivers stay connected. Android Auto, which is already available in millions of cars on more than 400 models from more than 40 brands, will now be bolstered by Assistant. So whether you need to listen to a playlist from Spotify or get directions from Google Maps or reserve a parking spot with SpotHero, Google Assistant can help.
Using Assistant in Android Auto on your car display will require you to connect your Android phone to a compatible vehicle, or simply use Assistant on your phone screen in any car. Google says it’s working with automakers to integrate Assistant directly into their vehicles.
Finally, Google is also rolling out a new way to talk about all the things Assistant can do. They’re called Actions, and they “include features built by Google — like directions on Google Maps — and those that come from developers, publishers and other third parties.” As of today, there are more than a million Actions available with Assistant, and Google promises it’s always adding more.
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