“Hay Google…” just got a whole lot smarter.

Apps can now integrate Google assistant to a much deeper level, giving access to specific functions within the app. For example you can open MyFitnessPal and log a food entry by just saying something like “Hay Google, log carrots in MyFitnessPal” or open a chat with a friend “Hay Google, message Billy on WhatsApp”

New Google Assistant can do more in your apps

On the Google Assistant Blog, Adam Coimbra says:

And for your most common tasks, you can create custom shortcut phrases. So instead of saying “Hey Google, tighten my shoes with Nike Adapt,” you can create a shortcut to just say, “Hey Google, lace it.” You can explore suggested shortcuts or create your own by simply saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts” to get to the settings screen. 

Whether you want a hands-free way to use your apps or shortcuts to complete common tasks, we want to make Android and your apps even more useful and convenient—and to give you time back to enjoy what matters most.

Adam Coimbra, Product Manager.

No more “Your call is import to us…” while listening to Get Happy on hold!

Using the latest version of the Google Phone app you no longer have to sit with the on hold music playing in the background, Google Assistant can listen to the call for you and alert you when an actual human answers the call. And better still, it’ll put THEM on hold while it notifies you.

Google AI powered ‘Hold for me”

In the Google Assistant blog, Andrew Goodman says:

Hold for Me is our latest effort to make phone calls better and save you time. Last year, we introduced an update to Call Screen that helps you avoid interruptions from spam calls once and for all, and last month, we launched Verified Calls to help you know why a business is calling before you answer. Hold for Me is now another way we’re making it simpler to say hello.

Andrew Goodman, Product Manager, Google Assistant
Joseph Cherukara, Product Manager, Phone app

Using the Google AI, the new phone app is able to identify the difference between Hold Music, automated messages like “Your call is important to us, please hold the line” and some advertising messages.

While the ‘Hold For Me’ is active, the call will be muted and Google’s AI will provide an on-screen transcript of what’s happening on the call so you can keep an eye on your progress through a call answering system for example.

The audio processing is done entirely on the phone, so no data is sent into the cloud for analysis unless you allow it.

At the moment the ‘Hold For Me’ only works on pixel devices, but Google are hoping to update the app on all Android 9 and above phones very soon.


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