Actions on Google get better media playback, more subscriptions, and custom commands

Google Assistant just made a huge play for the Amazon Alexa device market

Google Assistant gets slew of new features, better 3rd party integration

This decidedly inelegant middle-step is what Google seeks to mitigate with its latest update to the Assistant, giving us a bit more of a natural-language interaction with it when performing such commands with Google Assistant powered devices by third-party manufacturers. It's a wonder that this, like many other features being added to Assistant, wasn't baked in from the get-go.

In a blog post, the company gives the specific example of activating a specific color cycle on an Assistant-enabled washing machine machine.

A couple of proofs of concept are coming to SXSW for this new Custom Device Actions program by Google for Google Assistant.

It's a small, but nice addition as makers of smart home products look to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded market for smart home devices. Google has worked with a group called Red Paper Heart to make an installation called Talk to Light that acts as a sort of artistic expression of Assistant's new ability. The code details how you'll create a new hotword and teach Google Assistant to recognise it. Google also notes that the original "Hey Google" and "OK Google" will still work, even if you add another option.

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At the time of the call, Rick Ross , real name William Roberts , appeared to be unable to speak. 'I know he's had seizures before. The rapper referred to Bo by his middle name, "Leteef" and talked to him every morning, according to Ross's Instagram page.

More is likely just over the horizon for I/O in early May.

Carousels are visual displays for Google Assistant voice apps that allow you to browse left to right on your smartphone. For example, you can be notified of a stock price change or news alert as it happens. On your phone, audio from Actions will produce a media notification you can use to manage playback as well.

Google has opened up a "Fun House" in Austin, Texas for South by Southwest where they're presumably showing off all these cool new features, so if you're in the area head over and check them out.

While I typically use my Google Assistant to play music, control my lights and set timers, it's easy to dream about what else could be possible-like an Assistant that could help organize my sock drawer or bring me a cold drink while relaxing on the couch. Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.

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