Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Google Assistant gets Media Playback control along with Notifications and more

Google Assistant gets Media Playback control along with Notifications and more

The company calls this addition Custom Device Actions.

Amazon's Alexa may have more "skills" and connect with more services, but when it comes to artificial intelligence smarts, Google Assistant has the competition beat (sorry Siri, it isn't even close).

Assistant will now also be able to show you information in a carousel like view within the Assistant panel.

However, when you do need to give the voice assistant instructions very specific to the device or app it will be talking to, it more often than not ends up depending on two things: One, the third-party would have to have included support for the existing plugin-esque "Actions" approach Google has taken to tackle these specifics, and two, you would have to instruct Google Assistant explicitly to talk to a certain product.

Like other audio content on an Android phone, actions using the media response API can be controlled from a phone's lock screen or notifications area.

Google Assistant gets Media Playback control along with Notifications and more
Google Assistant gets Media Playback control along with Notifications and more

Subscriptions were one of the original features of Google Assistant when it was only available in Allo.

Meanwhile, expanded notification features for Assistant Actions are now out of beta. The new support allows Actions to send alerts like "newly added workout, a change in a stock price, or a news alert, right when it happens".

Days after Google announced the rollout of Actions on Google Assistant in seven new languages, including Hindi, it has brought another update with more new features. Additionally, users can now use voice commands to pause or replay media.

Actions on Google is essentially meant for developers to build integrations for Google's voice assistant. So, if you paid for premium content in an app, an Action can be aware of that and make it available via Assistant. However, for this to work developers need to implement this and push out an update for Google review. That's different than a piece of hardware that just works with Assistant. These basically allow Assistant devices to understand more specific voice commands.

Before now, users had to invoke an Action by saying "talk to LG" before issuing a command but now a user can directly say what he or she wants LG's connected appliance to do making the process much faster and interaction more natural. Users can expect to see these features roll out as they get adopted.

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