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Google Actions are now available to smartphone app developers
The tech giant adds Actions to phones, plus purchase history, hotword support, shortcuts, and a new app directory to Assistant.
This week, Google added some ways that developers of Google Assistant can help users get things done.
Last fall, Google unveiled Actions on Google, which allowed developers to add apps and services to the company’s Assistant intelligent agent on the Google Home device.
Yesterday, the tech giant announced that Actions are available for Assistant on Android phones and iPhone. In the blog post, Google noted that developers will now:
… have the opportunity to grow your user base and build apps for entirely new use cases — things that weren’t suited to a voice-only interface, like shopping for clothes or ordering food from a lengthy menu. Moving to a screen also means users can easily get things done with their app through new UI elements like image carousels, lists, and suggestion chips.
To encourage app development, Google has also announced it will award 20 prizes in the first developer competition for Actions on Google.
And, to help users track purchases, Assistant now offers the ability to see all transactions in a single history view. A new order-updates feature allows users to receive status updates through apps on Assistant, like when a prescription is ready.
Also announced: a new Google Assistant developer console for collaboration and data on app usage, and new features in the Google Assistant SDK, like timers, alarms and, to trigger non-Home devices via voice, there’s a new hotword support.
There’s also a new app directory, available within Google Assistant and offering categories and user ratings. And users can now create a shortcut to an app, such as:
… instead of saying “Ok Google, ask Forecaster Joe what’s the surf report for the Outer Banks”, a user can just say their personal shortcut, like “Ok Google, is the surf up?” to easily re-engage with your app.