The Google Assistant is going global - The Keyword

Perhaps the most important announcement is the Assistant's expansion to even more languages.

Google wants to make the Assistant more phone-friendly, so it has been working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring all the Assistant's capabilities to non-Google Android phones. While I have no idea if BlackBerry will be taking advantage of Assistant Mobile OEM program, it sure would be sweet if they considered it as it would be a nice addition.

But soon it will understand English, French and German at the same time - however, you will have to stick to the same language for each question or command you issue to Assistant.

Routines are arguably Google Home's best feature.

While Alexa now operates only in English, Google Assistant works in eight languages and the new initiative expands that. Literally. Google has announced it will be expanding Assistant to almost two dozen more languages this year as it expands its influence to some "95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide".

Routines could help Assistant become more useful for a broader group of users. Building on the past twelve months of work between the search company and Android handset manufacturers, the program will allow the Assistant to directly control handset features: turning on or off the mobile hotspot, for example.

Google is also adding a new aspect to location-based reminders. The integration could get deeper, too: Nick Fox, the product lead for Assistant, says Google could support carriers with triple play packages by integrating with things like DVRs, so you can set them to record from your phone.

As for location-based reminders, that's spreading from the Assistant on the phone to the Google Home and other smart speakers running Google's platform.

Location-based reminders: You can already set reminders based on a location with the Assistant on your phone. Some other big features coming to Google Assistant will actually be added "over the next week". Sprint, Koodo, Telus and Vodafone are the first to actively develop Assistant integrations, with many more "coming soon". Starting over the next week, we're adding two new features that help you use the Assistant across all the devices in your life. So if you tell Google Home that you need to be reminded to get some milk when you get to the grocery store and swing into the parking lot, Assistant should let you know on your phone that you need to pick up some milk.

  • Latoya Cobb