Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai’s trip to Congress to answer questions from the House Judiciary Subcommittee on its digital advertising dominance is indicative…
CES 2018 is in full swing this week, as a variety of companies use the opportunity to reveal new products and services. Google is no exception, using the Las Vegas mega-event to make several key consumer-related announcements.
Starting with Google Assistant, the tech firm revealed that the voice tool was available on over 400 million devices. It adds that it sold just over one Google Home a second since the Home Mini (review) started shipping in October — more than seven million units by our calculations.
Assistant in more places
Google isn’t stopping there though, announcing more partnerships with third party manufacturers to bring Assistant to their speakers. Partners include Altec Lansing, Anker Innovations, Bang & Olufsen, Braven, iHome, JBL, Jensen, LG, Klipsch, Knit Audio, Memorex, RIVA Audio and SōLIS.
Taking its cues from Amazon’s Echo Show, Google is teaming up with manufacturers to release Assistant-powered smart displays as well.
These displays will allow people to use a touchscreen to accomplish tasks and interact with the Assistant. And yes, YouTube, security cam feeds and video chat will be supported too.
Google has announced an initial list of four partners for smart displays, namely LG, JBL, Lenovo and Sony.
On your headphones and in the car
Last year saw Pixel Buds become a thing, delivering the Assistant to Bluetooth earbuds — expect a lot more of this in the future. Yep, headphones from Jaybird, JBL, LG and Sony will allow you to activate the Assistant with a tap. Hopefully battery life holds up well.
And if you thought you could escape the Assistant by getting into your car, well, think again if you’re in the USA.
“Starting this week in the US, the Assistant is coming to Android Auto,” Google revealed. Unfortunately, the implementation sees you having to connect your Assistant-powered phone to the car.
Google adds that it’s working with automakers to ditch the phone requirement for Assistant in cars.
Android TV gets some love
The Google Assistant has made its way to some Android TV-powered devices, such as the Nvidia Shield TV and Sony TV. But Google isn’t stopping there, announcing that more Android TVs will be receiving some love.
“We will continue to roll out the Assistant to existing Android TVs such as AirTV Player, Bouygues Telecom, LG U+, TCL, Skyworth and Xiaomi. And, this week, Changhong, Element, Funai, Haier, Hisense and Westinghouse are announcing new Android TVs with the Google Assistant,” the firm noted on its blog. “Plus, we’ve worked closely with LG to integrate the Assistant into the new line of LG TVs in the coming months.”
Google also quietly announced a new UI for Android TV, introducing tweaks such as video previews while hovering over an icon and a new setup process.
A proper directory
Google has previously highlighted some Assistant interactions on its website, but the firm is moving all-in with a directory of all possible actions.
Found at assistant.google.com/explore, the website apparently highlights over one million actions you can undertake with the Google Assistant.