Google’s Assistant isn’t just for Pixel phones anymore.
The company’s digital helper will soon be available for iPhones too, Google’s Scott Huffman announced during the keynote presentation at its I/O developer conference Wednesday.
But the entry into the iPhone isn’t the only update for Assistant, as Google brings the AI into even more devices. The smart assistant is also getting much, much smarter.
Of course, there will be some limits to the assistant’s capabilities on iOS, since it’s not embedded at the operating system level as it is with Android. The move to the iOS wasn’t totally unexpected, either — a source leaked the news yesterday.
Huffman said Google’s working to improve Assistant’s “conversationality,” since up to 70 percent of requests to the AI come in the form of natural language, rather than keywords like in a standard Google search. It’s another step to make it easier to chat naturally with the AI, like the capability for individualized voice recognition that was announced last month for households with multiple members using one Assistant-powered device, like a Home.
Assistant will also get a boost from the new Google Lens image-recognition AI, which will be integrated into the system to introduce a new visual component to the feature, allowing it to use images to do things like set up events in your calendar.
Google will also release the Assistant SDK for developers, as brands like LG, Panasonic, Sony, and others to build the AI into their products. Third-party developers will also have a shot at creating their own applications for Assistant, similar to Alexa’s developer program — but with Android’s already thriving development community, the potential for growth could be even greater.
Assistant’s brain boost will extend to its language recognition capabilities, too: starting this summer, the AI will recognize French, German, Brazilian-Portuguese and Japanese then, with Spanish, Italian, and Korean to follow soon after.