GOOGLE HAS confirmed that it will be bringing its Google Assistant artificial intelligence (AI) tool to a wider range Android of devices.
The company has restricted use of the AI-boosted version of its 'Google App' to Pixel and Pixel XL users thus far, along with its Google Home device, so far not available in the UK. However, the firm has now confirmed plans to roll it out to more handsets running Google 6.x Marshmallow and 7.x Nougat.
Assistant adds higher levels of pro-activity to its PA role, as well as home control functionality to rival Amazon's seemingly all-conquering Alexa devices.
It was announced over the weekend that former Google-owned smartphone maker Motorola (now Lenovo) has agreed to put Alexa at the heart of future devices in the form of a Moto Mod for the Moto X and Z, which will be something of a smack in the chops for Google which has some degree of catching up to do, given the amount of Alexa integration promised by various sources at both MWC and the earlier CES.
Huawei also chose to roll with Alexa in its Mate 9 handset, though there's no details for the P10 flagship just released.
The rollout of Google Assistant starts in the US this week, with us Brits to get it shortly afterwards. We're hoping that also means that Google Home is imminent for the UK too. The first non-Anglophones to get it will be Germany, which is exactly what happened with Alexa.
The good news is that you don't have to do anything, your phone will just update the Google App when your time comes. Those with older phones will continue with Google Now.
If you're heavily invested in Amazon Alexa, as many people are, don't fret, both Alexa and Assistant have IFTTT channels, meaning you can make the two play nicely, which theoretically means a world of Google content from your Echo, in a roundabout way.
Sadly though, still no sign of the promised "back story" for Google Assistant. Shame, we were looking forward to that. µ
Plus free apps from the Google Play Store
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