At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Google and its ubiquitous Assistant made some big promises, and now, it’s making even more of them. On February 26, the tech giant announced that Actions on Google (similar to skills on Alexa) now support 16 languages. Moreover, these Actions will also soon boast better geo capabilities, as well as Android app integrations.
The announcement comes at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where once again Google seeks to be the star of the show. Already, Actions on Google Assistant are available on more than 400 million devices, but the company hopes to expand accessibility even further. International developers can now build Actions in seven new language: Hindi, Thai, Indonesian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch. And given that supported languages already include English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Russian, these new additions bring the total count of supported languages to an impressive 16.
As Google product manager Brad Abrams noted in a blog post, “All Actions can be developed using Dialogflow and its natural language processing capabilities, or directly with the Actions SDK.” To further incentivize folks to build apps in these new languages, Google is offering up to $200 of monthly Google Cloud credit for developers publishing their first Actions.
And in addition to supporting new languages, Google is also “making it easier to build [Actions] for global audiences.” Developers can now create an Action simply by filling in a Google Sheet without writing a single line of code thanks to templates, which are available in French, German, and Japanese. Plus, Abrams wrote, “We’ve made it a little easier for you to localize your Actions into different languages by enabling you to export your directory listing information as a file. With the file in hand, you can translate offline and upload the translations to your console, making localization quicker and more organized.”
Google isn’t stopping with its ambitious plans for Assistant. The company plans to have the AI helper reach 95 percent of all eligible Android phones across the world by the end of 2018, and to help with that, has introduced a new feature that allows developers to deep link from Actions in the Google Assistant to a specific intent in an Android app. And as these links are integrated into Actions, developers can make it easier for their users to find what they need, and make for a better experience altogether.
“Today’s updates are part of our commitment to improving the platform for developers, and making the Google Assistant and Actions on Google more widely available around the globe,” Abrams concluded. “If you have ideas or requests that you’d like to share with our team, don’t hesitate to join the conversation.”