Meet Google Assistant, Your New Digital Assistant

December 16, 2016 •

Meet Google Assistant, Your New Digital Assistant
In the world of ever-evolving digital assistants, Google has a new assistant on the market. Google Assistant might not have as unique a name as Siri or Cortana, but that shouldn’t keep you from having a conversation with it.

What is Google Assistant?

Google Assistant essentially combines Google Now with “Ok Google.” Google Now was Google’s previous digital assistant, and “OK Google” is a set of voice controls. Google Assistant upgrades Google Now’s abilities and lets you do more without pressing buttons or screens. While Google Now had basic voice controls, they were minimal.

Who Can Use It?

Currently, Google Assistant is available on Pixel phones, the company’s new smartphones. The new feature will likely roll out to other Android devices.

Although it is only officially compatible with Pixel phones, there may be a workaround for people with non-Pixel Android devices, although it is a somewhat complex solution. The feature is compatible with Google home and with the Google Allo app. Google Allo is available on most Android devices and Google Assistant can be enabled through the app.

What Can It Do?

Like Siri and Cortana, Google Assistant can be used for a broad array of purposes, from checking the local weather and keeping track of appointments, to finding shows and looking up restaurants. Google is even hiring comedy writers to help improve the feature’s jokes.

Google Assistant stands apart from other digital assistants when it comes to long conversations. While it won’t make up for a talkative friend, Google Assistant is surprisingly good at following a conversation. For example, if you ask a follow-up question to an initial query, you don’t need to provide the same level of context that Siri requires.

Google Assistant Continues to Improve

While many people are impressed with this new feature, Google (like all companies with digital assistants) continues to work on improving the feature. Google Assistant will continue to improve, as will its jokes, and it may even receive a name in the future.