With a heavy focus on AI, it isn’t surprising that Google Assistant gets a big focus at Google I/O 2017. Something that started as a rather limited assistant, but a good conversationalist, Assistant is getting a few new abilities soon, starting with allowing you to use the keyboard.
Yes, Google finally acknowledges that voice isn’t always the best option to interact with Google Assistant. Due to circumstances, it might not even be possible. So it’s really great that you can now type to talk with it. But now you can even use your camera to start a conversation.
This is where the newly revealed Google Lens comes in. Say you point the camera at a sign in a foreign language, Lens will translate the sign right on the spot. You can then talk with Google Assistant to do, say make an order or set a schedule.
But wait, there’s more! Soon, you can even talk to Assistant when shopping online. Action on Google, which is how third-party apps and services can hook up to Assistant, will soon support transactions. That means you’ll be able to make payments or get receipts. So point your camera at a bag you saw, ask Assistant anything you like about it, and then, when you’re set, tell Assistant to put an order for it.
Google Assistant is shaping up to be a multi-talented assistant that will permeate Google’s devices and products. It could very well be the primary way users will interact with those devices, making the OS slightly irrelevant. And, yes, that may mean making even iOS irrelevant, because Google Assistant will be on iOS too. Officially.