Actions on Google get better media playback, more subscriptions, and custom commands

Actions on Google get better media playback, more subscriptions, and custom commands

Actions on Google get better media playback, more subscriptions, and custom commands

Working with Google to add Google Assistant voice command recognition to their system was possible before; it's just that now, with this new feature, it's a whole lot easier.

Finally, here's a big one, OEMs will now be able to add custom Assistant commands to their devices.

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.

Google's new app is officially limited to cheaper devices in emerging markets, but if you want to try it for yourself you can grab the Android application package (APK) for your current device.

The Assistant was first rolled out in smartphones and Google Home speakers, but now it is present in many devices such as smoke detectors and alarm clocks.

Meanwhile, expanded notification features for Assistant Actions are now out of beta. Google uses the instance of turning on a connected oven.

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On smart speakers, users will be able to control audio playback verbally, while Android devices gain standard media controls in the notification drawer and lock screen. This allows for more audio experiences like "longer meditation sessions, relaxing sounds, clips from your favorite TV shows and news briefings".

Assistant will now also be able to show you information in a carousel like view within the Assistant panel. For example, you can tell Assistant you want a daily update on cryptocurrency prices from CoinBase. Esquire and Forbes are some of the websites that have added the new functionality.

Google Assistant is getting more versatile, with new features being announced at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.

An example the company cites is the distinction between a general instruction that goes "Turn on the oven" and the more specific "Set the oven to convection and preheat to 350 degrees". But before you get around to saying that, you'd have to also tell the assistant, "Talk to Todoist".

Most of the new features are available to Actions developers starting today. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.

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