Google Assistant will also include multilingual capacity "so families or individuals that speak more than one language can speak naturally" to the program.
Ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, Google Inc. today unveiled a series of major enhancements for its virtual assistant aimed at enabling users to automate more parts of their digital lives. On the Google Home smart speaker, the assistant can now be set to understand either English, French, German or Japanese.
Google Home Max is already the best smart speaker on the market.
Apple got a late start in the speaker segment with its HomePod, which went on sale this month in the US, Britain and Australia.
Google's Assistant is catching up with Amazon's Alexa in its capabilities thanks to the launch of a new feature called "routines", which allows users to make Assistant carry out a number of actions with a single command, the company has announced. Google aims to reach a grand total of 30 languages by the end of this year.
Google expects to launch the multilingual feature later this year with support English, French, and German, followed by more languages over time.
In addition to phone manufacturers, Google is also working with wireless carriers to integrate their services with Assistant. Coming soon, we'll also have new integrations from LG, Sony Mobile and Xiaomi. For example, saying "OK Google, I'm home" could trigger the Assistant to turn on the lights, share home reminders, play your favorite music, and so on.
Device-specific Assistant commands to launch custom hardware and software features. There will be six routines to "help with your morning, commutes to and from work, and evening at home". Originally announced alongside the Pixel 2 phones a year ago, routines will let users combine multiple actions into a single command, like turning off the lights and lowering the thermostat when you say, "OK Google, good night".
Lastly, with the Assistant Carrier program, mobile carriers will be able to provide customers with more information on their services via Assistant. Initially, the new action will be limited to Sprint, Koodo, Telus, and Vodafone. This could be useful if you wanted to use the Assistant to do things like make changes to your phone plan or get the balance of your bill. Just ask Assistant on your speaker and when you get to the store, the Assistant on your phone will remind you.