Google Assistant is coming to Android’s default texting app

google assistant mwc 2019

Google Assistant is coming to Android Messages, the default texting app on most Android smartphones. The announcement is just one of Google’s Assistant updates from Mobile World Congress 2019 — the first being about dedicated Google Assistant buttons cropping up on more smartphones.

When you text someone a restaurant suggestion, you’ll see a bubble in the chat pop up. Click it, and it will be a Google Assistant card about the restaurant, not unlike the Knowledge Graph card you see when searching for a restaurant on Google. You can either look up details of the restaurant right there, or send the whole card into the conversation so the person you’re talking to can simply look at the details without needing to leave the thread. This approach is different from the company’s other chat app Allo, which will soon be shut down, as you could call upon Google Assistant at a moment’s whim.

Google also said Assistant in Google Maps — which debuted at CES 2019 —  will soon support all the languages that Assistant is already capable of using.

Smaller updates to Assistant are coming too. For example, Assistant will be rolling out in seven more Indian languages, including Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Urdu. Not only that, but Assistant can now translate to or from Korean, Hindi, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch, on top of the languages that were already supported by Google Assistant’s translation feature.

Google also announced a few improvements to Assistant in feature phones running KaiOS. For example, a new Voice Typing mode will let you use your voice instead of text anytime there’s a text field. You can now also keep your phone’s settings in English, and change Assistant’s language to something else.

It will be interesting to see how Google Assistant continues to develop over the next year or so, especially in the face of other digital assistants like Alexa and Siri. While Google Assistant is considered to be among the best digital assistants out there, competition is expected to grow as we head into an era of voice-controlled computing. That being said, Google disclosed the Assistant is now available in more than 80 countries in nearly 30 languages.


How the Google Stadia could lead to a new era of multi-GPU gaming

Google's Stadia could use more than one graphics card to deliver the high-performance visuals it's promised. If that leads to better developer support for multi-GPUs, could that mean gaming with two or more graphics cards could finally be…

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Fossil is working on a smartwatch with BMW, and it’s coming next year

Fossil, the watch company that makes smartwatches under its own name and partners with other major brands too, intends to launch a smartwatch with car manufacturer BMW in the future.
Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.

Diesel’s denim-inspired smartwatch straps are a casual, colorful must-own

Diesel will release two new versions of the On Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch later this year, with seriously cool, denim-inspired straps in classic Diesel colors. We tried them on at the Baselworld 2019 show.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.

The Moto G7 Power, with its massive battery, is now available for purchase

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.