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Google Assistant now launches specific tasks in Android apps

It can also ask for your location in the middle of a request.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 26, 2018
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Believe it or not, Google still isn't done with its slew of Assistant upgrades this week. The AI helper can now use Actions to perform specific intents within other Android apps for those times when voice alone won't cut it. If you need to see the parking pass you just booked, for instance, you can tap a button to go directly to that pass in the relevant Android app. The feature is rolling out over the next few weeks, and it's accompanied by a few other Assistant improvements that should make life a little easier.

For one, Assistant can ask for your location in mid-conversation. If you want to get a lift to a place near your home, Google can supply the position on demand. Third-party apps can also cut out the introductory fluff if it's not your first time using them through Assistant. And Actions now work in seven new languages, including Hindi, Indonesian, Thai, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

These may seem like modest updates, but they could be vital. Google is determined to bring Assistant to as many Android phones as it can (95 percent of all compatible phones by the end of 2018), and that means accommodating as many countries as possible. And if you're going to trust Assistant, it needs to fulfill as many expectations as possible -- even if that means passing the baton to another app.

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