This is the feature that Samsung’s Bixby has excelled in the past and now Google’s competitive assistant has started doing this also.
With the help of the Google Places API, the askForPlace conversation helper has been introduced. It allows Google Assistant to understand location-based queries in the middle of a conversation. For developers, this removes the need for constant location requests.
The example provided for this comes from Uber. A user asks to be dropped off at a restaurant near their home, so Google Assistant asks if it can check the home address saved on Google Maps. After the user confirms, Google Assistant can pinpoint locations and suggest them as needed. Rather than requesting the user’s location several times, Uber allows Google to jump in, identify the location, and provide that to Uber to continue the conversation.
Google also added seven languages for Actions, the developer platform part of Google Assistant. The list includes Hindi, Thai, Indonesian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch. So the number of supported languages is now sixteen with more to be added throughout 2018.
It’s expected that Google Assistant will be accessible on “95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide” by the end of the year. The catch, though, is that Google’s digital assistant is unavailable on most of the 2 billion Android devices roaming the world.
Only devices with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above can access it, so achieving that amount of accessibility may not be that impressive.