Google has been very busy, it seems, putting plans together to get Google Assistant pre-loaded on several brands of Android smartphones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat.
The company yesterday announced that Google Assistant would be rolled out to several smartphone models this year, including the LG G6, the one we already know of. The smart voice assistant will be rolled out to devices running unforked versions of Android Marshmallow and Nougat in addition to Nexus devices and the latest smartphone from LG.
The rollout is expected to begin as early as this week in the United States, following shortly after by Australia, Canada and the UK. A German version is also rolling out to users in Germany. More languages are expected to be added during the course of the year, according to Gummi Hafsteinsson, product lead for Google Assistant, in a blog post.
One point to note is that Amazon Alexa is also currently available in two languages – English and German.
The race to put a voice assistant on the majority of new Android smartphones has begun, but it’s part of a bigger race to convert dumb appliances into smart appliances, which can respond to human commands and execute tasks without the need for touch interaction.
Google Assistant has the edge over Amazon Alexa in the smartphone world, but Amazon is no slouch. The retailer is already partnering with several reputed brands to bring voice capability to their products – everything from refrigerators to cars, not to mention smartphones like the Huawei Mate 9.
Both Google and Amazon are now at the forefront of the voice-first era of smart devices. Google may have the smartphone advantage, but Amazon is looking at Alexa as an enabler of connected devices – the missing link to making familiar devices and appliances smarter than before.
What’s more, Google Assistant can get you the world’s information, but Alexa can actually convert conversations into retail sales for Amazon.
Our money is on Amazon Alexa to win, because it’s a much simpler form of AI that uses a set of growing voice commands to get the job done.
Google Assistant, on the other hand, is pure AI, and can contextually understand conversations, getting smarter over time, but it’s going to be a tough product to monetize unless Google licenses the technology. That’s not about to happen because Alexa APIs are free, so Google will have to keep GA free in order to compete.
Over the next few years, we’ll see both Alexa and GA on multiple products. Electronics and appliance manufacturers will be flocking to have their products integrated with either of these smart voice assistants.
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