Google Assistant gets Media Playback control along with Notifications and more

Google Assistant-enabled devices add custom commands as Actions gain notifications, playback controls

Google Assistant-enabled devices add custom commands as Actions gain notifications, playback controls

Days after Google announced the rollout of Actions on Google Assistant in seven new languages, including Hindi, it has brought another update with more new features.

Users can speak with Google Assistant devices by saying "OK, Google" followed by several new phrases starting today. Google will allow developers of Actions to plug into digital purchases including paid app purchases, in-app purchases, in-app subscriptions and the likes. The newest additions come in the form of Custom Device Actions, and they're about to add one whole heck of a lot of variety to their connected device ecosystem.

Amazon's Alexa may have more "skills" and connect with more services, but when it comes to artificial intelligence smarts, Google Assistant has the competition beat (sorry Siri, it isn't even close).

These zany abilities aside, Assistant now supports better media playback integration, extending its functions beyond just podcasts to TV shows, interviews and interactive stories, along with support for a better carousel inside the Assistant window for more convenient interaction with visual content. Called "Custom Device Actions", OEMs will be able to add custom commands for their devices. Voice commands can be used to pause or replay media, and a media player will appear on your phone.

An abundance of user actions can be found in Google's latest updates to "What it can do". Users can turn off the phone screen and still listen to the audio.

Users can now have specific Assistant Actions send to them via notifications on their smartphones. For example, you can be notified of a stock price change or news alert as it happens. Esquire and Forbes are some of the websites that have added the new functionality.

An example the company cites is the distinction between a general instruction that goes "Turn on the oven" and the more specific "Set the oven to convection and preheat to 350 degrees".

LG has taken the advantage of this.

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