Continuing our Majel piece last December on Google’s answer for an all-around personal assistant that lives inside your Android smartphones to challenge Siri, we’re pleased to inform that some new information has trickled out. As first reported by Tech Crunch, it seems Google is prepping a major release of its voice assistant this year. Gone is the old name Majel that it was initially known as. Removing the Majel name from the equation, Google has possibly decided to call it the ‘Assistant’ instead.
According to the source, the Android team that is in charge with the development, along with the help of the company’s search engineer Amit Singhai, has been hard at work to accomplish three things.
First, create a system that can convert the world’s knowledge into a format the computer can understand. Second, create an assistant that can provide personalized recommendation and results based on your interaction on Google Plus and other services of the company. Third, build a voice assistant that helps accomplish real-life goals instead of just returning search results.
It is clear from the three objectives above that the ‘Assistant’ is meant to do greater things than Siri. Since the project has been in development for quite some time now — it even predates Siri – we should be able to test it for a ride soon. Though the company is apparently aiming for a 4Q introduction of the ‘Assistant’, details are still scarce.
Another point of differentiation that the ‘Assistant’ has is the fact Google will allow developers to get in on the fun as well. It is seen as a way to extend the service and for developers to build apps, among other things, that can interact with the ‘Assistant’.
To refresh your memory, the now-defunct Majel was to become the heir of Google’s Voice Actions – the very same one you have on your Android smartphones and tablets right now. Google’s Matias Duarte once described the feature as something more akin to the one on Star Trek. No name, no personality – strictly computer business. So it is not surprising to see the company dropping the Majel name and going with ‘Assistant’.
Are you disappointed about the name change as much as we are? Get it off your chest and nominate which name you’d have gone for below.