Wednesday , February 20 2019

Google Assistant, 4 months later: still unfinished, still the best, Still fragmented


Back at Google I/O 2016, we got a 1st look at Google Assistant. It was designed to be an informal assistant, as opposed to the search-based Google Now. Then when Allo was released in September, it shipped with a beta version of Assistant. At last when the Google Pixel phones were released in October, Assistant was a most selling point.

Google has a tendency to rush products out the door while not totally finishing them, and Assistant was no exception. So currently that concerning four months has passed since the official introduction of Google Assistant (roughly 5 months if you count the Allo beta), has anything changed?

Assistant vs. Google Search

Before Assistant, Google Search served as both a native app for internet searches and as a basic voice assistant. Search only has basic assistant practicality, most of which has been ported to Google Assistant. Features like dynamic device settings (turning Wi-Fi on/off, toggling flashlight, etc), sending SMS and Hangouts messages, setting reminders, and managing your calendar are present on each merchandise. Most people would expect all of Search’s existing practicality to be enclosed in Assistant, but that is not the case.

A bizarre range of Search options is still absent from Assistant, even four months after launch. One of my favorite features is that the ability to spot music, but Assistant responds with “I cannot determine songs, however.” Assistant also can’t read recent texts (only send them), or add items to specific lists in Google Keep – each of that has been in Google explore for a while currently.


It makes sense, especially for a Google product, that some functionality would be missing on unharness. So what has modified in the past four months? Initially, Assistant couldn’t control Nest thermostats like Google Search, but this was mounted in December. Some of the functionality from Google currently on tap, like taking a screenshot, wasn’t added back to January.

The assistant should have enclosed all of Google Search’s practicality at launch, but Google has a tendency to push merchandise out the door before they’re fully baked. Four months later, little progress has been created to shut the feature gap with Google Search.

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