Google Launches Routines for Assistant

Google Launches Routines for Assistant
Google's intelligent assistant will also be able to speak 30 languages by the end of the year.

(CCM) — Google's Assistant is catching up with Amazon's Alexa in its capabilities thanks to the launch of a new feature called "routines," which allows users to make Assistant carry out a number of actions with a single command, the company has announced.

"Routines" could be used to make Assistant switch off all the lights, lock the front door, and play soothing music with the simple command "goodnight," for example, and U.S.-based users will be able to configure up to six routines in the coming weeks, the company said.

Google also announced that it plans deeper integration between Assistant, smartphones, and cellular carriers. By integrating with specific handsets, a user might be able to say "Hey Google, launch Panorama Mode on the camera," to launch a phone-specific feature.

Google has partnered with Android phone makers LG, Sony, and Xiaomi initially, and it will start by making specific camera-related commands for these manufacturers. Some manufacturers such as Samsung, which has developed its own intelligent assistant called Bixby, may decide not to partner with Google in this initiative.

The company has also partnered with carriers Sprint, Koodo, Telus, and Vodafone to enable phone owners to ask the Assistant carrier-specific questions such as how many minutes or text messages they have left in their plans.

Finally, Google has also announced that it is expanding Assistant's language capabilities to cover 30 tongues by the end of the year, and eventually it will be able to detect what language a user is speaking automatically.

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