Google has announced a big upgrade to Google Assistant on stage at Google I/O 2019. The new version will run on devices rather than in the cloud, helping Assistant perform up to 10 times faster than the current model — and it’s packed with new features.
Google said it has achieved nearly zero latency with the next-gen Assistant, helping it multitask better than ever before. The new Assistant will be able to respond to strings of multiple queries, affecting many different apps, without the user needing to repeat the “Okay Google” hot phrase each time. This includes more specific in-app actions too, like saying: “Hey Google, start my run in Nike Run Club.”
You can see how it all looks in the video embedded below — though it looked even more impressive live on stage.
The new Assistant will also be able to leverage Duplex for the web t0 help complete certain tasks like filling out forms. You can call upon Assistant to help you book something and Duplex will begin filling in your details in real time.
Assistant is becoming more personal, said Google, gaining a better understanding of your relationships to people and places. This should make Assistant conversations more natural; it will be able to respond to a question like, “Hey Google, what’s the weather like at my mom’s house this weekend?”
What’s more, you will soon be able to set reminders for other people, such as family members, with Assignable Reminders, while a much-appreciated tweak to reminders and alarms will allow you to just say “stop” (no hot phrase required) to stop them.
Running on-device and coming to new Pixel phones later this year, the next generation Google Assistant can understand and process your requests up to 10 times faster, making operating your phone, multi-tasking and even composing email easier than ever. #io19 pic.twitter.com/iNPpOvwDM2
— Google (@Google) May 7, 2019
Google announced a handful of Assistant features coming to other products too. Smart displays are getting a unique “Picks for you” feature, whereby Assistant will provide more contextual and more personalized results based on your previous searches. That’s coming later this summer. It will be accessible directly within Waze in the coming weeks also.
Finally, Assistant is getting a new Driving Mode dashboard to make relative functions — like calling and navigation — more accessible while driving.
Google said the next generation, on-device Assistant would first appear on new Pixel ones coming later this year; presumably, that means the Pixel 4 series. The other features will roll out over the coming months to the existing Assistant.