Google Assistant adds more languages in global push

Back in October of previous year, Google officially announced that Google Assistant, the digital assistant that is getting baked into as many different devices as possible, would learn new Routines to help get tasks done faster.

First is the news that Google Assistant will be spreading to more languages and locales. Carriers such as Sprint, Koodo, Telus and Vodafone are also working with Google on Assistant to offer carrier specific functions, for example, adding new features to your plan, contacting customer support and more. Currently, changing the language of Assistant means changing the language of your entire Android operating system.

Google's assistant already can be used to control Nest's cameras and online-linked thermostat its Home speaker and smartphones are running on its Android software. "With this new feature, the Assistant will be able to understand you in multiple languages fluently", Fox wrote.

The Google Assistant will also become multilingual this year. We've been focused on making the Assistant useful throughout all parts of your day, and earlier this year we showed the latest features we're bringing to the Assistant in homes and in cars.

Non-Google handsets - that it, any Android which isn't a Google Pixel - will soon be able to hear the "hey Google" or "okay Google" command while their screens are off.

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Google is adding location-based reminders for smart speakers and Routines, a concept first revealed past year that involves rolling several commands into a single action. Starting over the next week, we're adding two new features that help you use the Assistant across all the devices in your life.

Routines allow you to get the assistant to do multiple things all at once with one command. Want to make sure you pick up the milk at the grocery store?

Lastly, the search giant revealed the Assistant Mobile OEM program, enabling device manufacturers like LG, Sony, and Xiaomi to build "deeper integrations" between the Assistant and features specific to non-Google phones.

One such example would be a user setting the phrase "Hey Google, I'm home" to have the Assistant turn on the lights in the house, start a music playlist, and share reminders for what needs to get done. The news announced today comes days before Mobile World Congress, which begins Monday in Barcelona, Spain.

Interestingly, Google has a similar program for carriers, so in the future you'll just ask the Assistant about your plan, add new services (like worldwide data roaming) through its conversational interface, and even get support from your carrier in this manner.

  • Delia Davidson