At Google I/ 2017 keynote, Google announced a bunch of new features and changes for its powerful digital assistant named Google Assistant. All of these new features are aimed at allowing Assistant to help users in almost every possible way and via each medium, it is available on.
To start off, Google made the much-awaited announcement which is that Assistant now supports text inputs for taking queries. It was one of the most requested features for Assistant not everyone is comfortable with interacting with the assistant through his/her voice all the time. And even if you are, there can be situations where it is either not possible or does not make sense to ask questions using your voice. This is the reason Assistant now lets you ask anything using the text input which is to use your device’s keyboard app. Additionally, there is also a history option which will let you browse all questions asked by you in the past.
Next up in the line is Google Lens feature which will allow you to point your phone’s camera at any object and Assistant will scan it to show you relevant information. To get this working, you will simply need to hold your phone by making sure that the object appears completely within the camera app viewer and then tap on the Lens icon in the top right corner. This feature is similar what Samsung offers with Bixby Vision on new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ flagships.
Since it’s launch last year, Google Assistant has always been an Android exclusive on smartphones but not anymore. Google has now expanded Assistant to iOS devices where it will be available in the form of an individual app. This app will be different than the existing Google search app for iOS devices. While Assistant works amazingly on Android, it will be interesting to see how it will perform on iOS under all the restriction that Apple imposes on third-party apps. And not to mention that iOS users already have Siri at their disposal.
And lastly, there are a bunch of new Assistant features which are related to Google Home smart home speaker. It now allows users to make hands-free calling to any landline number within the United States and Canada. It can also create reminders and schedule new meetings as well as show “visual responses” (notifications on devices with displays like phone, tablets, and TVs). And if you own an Android TV, there is good news as Assistant is now available for bigger screens as well.