Google Assistant makes its way into Google Maps

Google may be expanding the powers of its digital assistant for home devices and automotive accessories, but it hasn't forgotten about the smartphone. Thankfully, even those of us who aren't attending the event can give this monstrosity a virtual ride through a 360-degree video posted on YouTube.

This news was announced alongside that the Assistant now works with over 1,600 home automation brands and on more than 10,000 devices. Both are equally fair responses in my book. Initially, the support will be limited to domestic flights of the United Airlines, but the company hopes to add more airlines and flights soon.

Google also showed off the new Lenovo Smart Clock, which can set alarms based on your daily habits or calendar appointments, and wake you with a gentle light. Google notes that messaging features now work with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and more. You can also view your boarding pass in Google Pay by saying "Hey Google, show me my boarding pass". It has made phone usage more convenient than ever before as users need not type to search on the browser; just a voice command preceded by "Hey Google" is enough to get your desired results on the screen.

When booking a room, Google Assistant can also take care of that task thanks to its integration with Choice Hotels, AccorHotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, Priceline, Expedia, Mirai and Travelclick. Assistant will also be able to give you notifications for things like check-in.

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That ability to read out and reply to texts will come in handy now that you can access Google Assistant from the Google Maps app, hopefully reducing the risk of distracted driving.

Google stated the feature will arrive on Google Home devices "over the next few weeks".

When you make a request, the Google Assistant must not only understand the language you're using and your speech, but it also has to recognize the intent of what you're asking and the context.

  • Michelle Webb