Meanwhile, Google is adding a new Editorial Picks section to the Assistant's Explore page. Singer John Legend voiced one of the new assistants, which marks the first time a celebrity voice has been broadly available, rather than just pigeonholed into a turn-by-turn satnav system. Up until now, creating a new voice took hundreds of hours in a recording studio. Now Google is attempting to improve with a new array of voices.
One of the most lauded one of these was the addition of six new voices for Google Assistant. You could argue that they will still be able to harvest voice search data to tailor ads but if I'm looking at screens less, then I won't see them.
Perhaps the most exciting (and scary) feature coming to the Assistant is that it can make phone calls for you. Amazon recently added a similar feature.
Multiple ActionsA key part of having a natural conversation is being able to ask about many things at once. It would also teach children to use polite language when interacting with the Google Assistant's "Pretty Please feature". With the March launch of Routines, Google also removed My Day after directly integrating it. "It's so complicated. And I think a lot of designers are looking for what is the "right answer" [as in, whose is the "right" voice for these virtual assistants] and it's raising a lot of questions". Pichai also showcased a revamped Gmail and announced another new feature called "Smart Compose", which will help users write emails using machine learning technology.
After selecting a particular voice, you can tap on the speaker icon on the right to preview each voice, before selecting one. Starting May 8th you can completely customize your own Routines as you see fit.
"Hey Google, order my usual from Starbucks." and the Assistant will fire up the Starbucks app, order your usual, then give you a confirmation and pickup time. Google is focusing more on the visual side for the Assistant. "Game researchers have noted that a lot of customization is available in video game characters, but it doesn't stop players from choosing super sexy female characters that don't wear a lot of clothes", said Dr. Sweeney. The feature would be rolled it out to all users this month.
Google revealed that nine new device types now work natively with Google Assistant.