Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Google Allowing Third-Parties to Build Custom Commands for Assistant

Google Allowing Third-Parties to Build Custom Commands for Assistant

Starting today, thanks to a new feature for Actions called Custom Device Actions, device makers can extend the Assistant and add "native" functionality specific to their device.

A couple of proofs of concept are coming to SXSW for this new Custom Device Actions program by Google for Google Assistant.

Improved media playback: A user will now be able to access and control additional playback content like a clip from a TV show etc.

Actions on Google is essentially meant for developers to build integrations for Google's voice assistant. Previous carousels made available to developers could be used for visual aids but were made primarily to lead back into a voice experience. Users can turn off the phone screen and still listen to the audio. TV channels like The Daily Show, Calm, and CNBC will have new features available for playback and general show information.

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To make Assistant more useful and human-machine communication easier, Google has announced that it will now allow other companies to create custom commands when its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant is built into their products.

Google also adds video voicemail feature to its Duo app. Notifications, "better media playback", and other brand-name actions will be added within the next few days. Google uses the example of turning on a connected oven. Earlier, users would say something like, "Ok Google, turn on the oven", now they will be able to give more detailed commands like, "Ok Google, set the oven to convection and preheat to 350-degrees".

Google has opened up a "Fun House" in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest where they're presumably showing off all these cool new features, so if you're in the area head over and check them out. But before you get around to saying that, you'd have to also tell the assistant, "Talk to Todoist". There aren't many examples of hardware with built-in Assistant yet, but developers will be able to include custom commands in them going forward. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.

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