Google Assistant launched primarily just with the Google Pixel phone, a flagship phone from Google itself, developed to compete directly with the iPhone and other high-end smartphones.
Google Assistant is essentially Google’s answer to Siri, providing much more than just search results based on voice searches.
What does Google Assistant do?
Google Assistant essentially provides a more conversational tone with users, and will speak to the user instead of just searching from what someone may say.
It acts as a personal assistant to any questions you may have, such as confirmation codes that may be in your email or on your phone. It can give directions when you ask it to take you somewhere. It can provide photos of specific things you ask it for, whether it’s online or taken by yourself. Or it can provide weather updates if you ask for specific details.
The Google Assistant will also interact with smart-home features, such as turning on lights in your house.
Google describes its capabilities as follows:
“Get help on the go with your Google Assistant. The Google Assistant is coming soon to Android Marshmallow and Nougat phones.* Instantly find your Google Photos, access your music playlists, pull up your flight itinerary and more. To get started, touch and hold the Home button.”
How is Google Assistant rolling out?
The Google Assistant will begin rolling out to English users based in the US, and then subsequently in the UK, Canada, and Australia, as well as German speakers based in Germany.
Why is this a big deal?
As Google Assistant was previously only available on the Google Pixel, it only represented a small slice of the Android market.
Now it’s rolling out to users on the latest versions of Android, devices specifically running Android 7.0 Nougat, as well as Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This represents a much, much larger base of users who may begin to interact with Google Assistant.
As Android currently boasts over 63% of the smartphone market, with iOS at just over 32% for comparison, this shows the importance Android has for searches.
Google Assistant can directly impact how people will search, especially with Google powering the voice assistant, as well as the search results.
Many people already use Siri, but with Google at the helm of this particular assistant that could reach many people, it will be interesting to see how this evolves in the coming months and years.
Of course, it all depends on how many people will use the assistant on a daily basis. But if Google can make this assistant as popular as Siri, then it could be worth considering how to attract customers to your site if they are searching via Google Assistant.