Google Home can send third-party apps to your phone

They won't be stuck on your smart speaker for much longer.

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Jon Fingas
November 15th, 2017

Google Assistant already has its share of third-party apps, but that experience doesn't usually leave the device where it starts. You can't make a request on your Home speaker that needs an answer on your phone. Thankfully, Google is about to fix that. It's introducing a slew of developer upgrades that include a new framework for passing third-party app experiences from Assistant-equipped speakers like Home to your phone. If you're ordering food, you can start the request by asking your speaker and review the details on your handset.

Other additions aren't quite so dramatic, but they'll be noticeable. Apps will have a more personal touch: they can remember a handful of details, and give you a polite goodbye message. You can soon ask for daily updates (say, for medicine reminders) and get Assistant-based push notifications on your mobile devices.

Google is promising to make Assistant app discovery easier, too. The on-phone Assistant app directory includes "what's new" and trending sections, more subcategories to reflect the tasks you want to accomplish, family-friendly app labels and support for apps in Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portugese and Indian English.

Don't expect to use speaker-to-phone handoffs or other Assistant features right away. Developers will have to roll these features into their apps. When they do, though, third-party Assistant apps will be that much more useful -- they should feel more like integral experiences that rise up to the level of Google's own AI-driven commands.

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