Actions on Google, the Google Assistant’s version of what Amazon calls ‘skills,’ have been around for quite sometime, but Google today reported that it is extending the platform to support a wider group of international developers, in addition to a number of other features for the platform.
Probably the most important update here is that Actions are now available in seven new languages: Norwegian, Swedish, Hindi, Thai, Indonesian, Danish and Dutch. These join German, Japanese, English, French Korean, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian as fully supported languages for developers. This also means that Google’s Dialogflow tool for building conversational interfaces now aids these languages, too.
Additionally, Google is also making it simpler to translate Actions by letting developers export their directory listing information as a file.
One of the new features rolling out to all developers is the ability to design a deep link to an Android app from Google Assistant Actions. Brad Abrams, Product manager of Google, mentions in an announcement today that, “By the end of the year the Assistant will reach 95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide, and Actions are a great way for you to reach those users to help them get things done easily over voice.” He also added, “Sometimes, however, users may benefit from the versatility of your Android app for particularly complex or highly interactive tasks.”
Developers now also get the potential to better understand location-based questions from their users. By connecting Actions to the Google Places API, developers are now able to have conversations about places. Which means that if a user asks for say ‘Starbucks’ and there are a few around the user’s current location, the Assistant can then ask more queries about where exactly you want to go.
And for users who regularly use a given developer’s Actions, the Assistant can now automatically cut back on introductions so that users can get things done quicker.
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