Google extends voice assistant functions on smartphones to eye the next 1 billion users

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The Google said earlier this year that his voice assistant, Google Assistant, would reach 1 billion users in January. Now the company prepares to reach the next 1 billion people who will use the tool, with the launch of new features.

See some of the ads:

  • According to the company, in the coming months the wizard will be available, for example, in Android messages (English only).
  • The voice feature in Maps, which was announced in January, will be available for all but 30 languages ​​”in the coming weeks.”
  • Devices from partner companies will also receive dedicated Google Assistant buttons for easy access to voice usage.

To take facilities to countries like India, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil, where the number of active users has grown 7 times in the last year, is essential for product growth, according to Manuel Bronstein, vice president of Google Assistant product. “It is in these markets that there is the next 1 billion users,” he said in an interview with the G1.

The expansion of these features will impact the use of the wizard in Portuguese. According to Google, currently the country is among the three most used Google Assistant mobile phones and Brazilian Portuguese is the second most spoken language.

According to Bronstein, there is a company concern with cultural accents and differences: there are a number of engineers and experts working to build the most accurate algorithms in speech recognition.

“The more accurate the wizard, the more people will use and the faster the program will learn to detect regional differences, accents. So we are focusing on making the platform better and taking it to multiple languages, “Bronstein told the G1 .

Suggestions in messages

In Android messages, in addition to using the voice assistant to initiate conversations and send texts to contacts, the tool will also be able to use artificial intelligence to offer additional suggestions and information regarding movies, restaurants or weather.

The idea is to expand the scope of user uses of the tool. According to Bronstein, in residential speakers the Assistant is most used for questions and questions, and on cell phones for what he calls “productivity”: reminders, messages, agenda updates.

Google, however, says that suggestions only appear if the user clicks the voice assistant icon and that the feature does not have access to all of the users’ conversations.

Assistant Button

According to Manuel Bronstein, half of voice interactions happen concurrently with the use of ringtones.

“The future is expected to mix the use of voice and ringtones on mobile phones,” Bronstein said. “There are also situations where the use of voice is not totally acceptable, such as in meetings.”

Therefore, the company announced during Mobile World Congress, the mobile phone industry fair, an expansion in partnerships to bring a dedicated button of voice assistant activation. The appeal will arrive this year to new phones from LG, Nokia and Xiaomi, as well as televisions. Until then, it had already been introduced in the LG G7 ThinQ smartphone.

The next 1 billion users

According to Google, the wizard had more reach with the sale of millions of smartphones with Android Go, operating system used in cheap and less capable phones, and KaiOS, which is a system made for mobile phones without touchscreen and that still has a numeric keypad. Some of the devices with this system have a microphone power button.

“In some languages, even a simple message can be difficult to type, especially on numeric keypad phones. In the coming months, it will be possible to use voice commands to type in KaiOS, “said Bronstein.

Google has already invested $ 22 million in KaiOS, which is currently the third most used mobile operating system in the world, with about 1% of the market, behind Apple’s Android and iOS.

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