Google has announced an array of new Assistant features for app developers, including new push notifications, daily updates and additional language support. According to the news release, the added features are designed “to make it easier for users to find, interact and re-engage with your app.”
Assistant now allows for speaker-to-phone transfer, a new API that makes it possible to start an action on a Google Home speaker and complete it on the phone. For example, users can order food from their speaker, but receive the receipt on their phone.
Of course, push notifications are important, and that API now enables apps to send important updates to users, with Google Home spoken functionality coming in the future. The new For Families badge will designate which apps are okay for the kids, and there is also support for additional languages, including Spanish, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese.
Google also rolled out an update to the web simulator, which includes a new SSML audio design experience, giving developers more options for creating natural, quality dialog using newly supported SSML tags.
In addition, Assistant is adding subcategories in the app directory, so if you click on a category like “Food & Drink,” apps are broken down into additional subcategories, such as “Order Food” or “View a Menu.”
And the new Implicit Discovery will allow users to connect to apps using contextual queries (such as “book an appointment to fix my bike”), as opposed to calling for the app by name.
As Tech Crunch points out, if Google Assistant wants to compete against the likes of Amazon Alexa, it needs third-party app support. These additions should give developers an incentive to get on board, offering them enough time to ramp up their app experiences for the holidays.