Redesigned Google Assistant is easier on the fingers and eyes

Image: Google

Google Assistant is getting a redesign that better integrates touch into the user experience built around voice. Asking Google to dim your smart lights, for example, will now generate a slider so you can fine-tune the result. The update also adds some of the Material Design touches that Google has been rolling out across its other services, and makes certain visual elements bigger, more informative, and easier to read at a glance.

Google Assistant is by many measurements the best voice assistant available. Nevertheless, today’s changes reflect the fact that it can be a lot easier to digest information visually and manipulate it by tapping around on buttons and sliders. Although this update is focused on Google Assistant on mobile, Google is increasingly offering smart home devices with screens. JBL and Lenovo have already put out their Google-powered Smart Displays, and Google is rumored to be prepping its own to be revealed alongside the Pixel 3.

You’ll also now be able to swipe up from the Assistant on Android to get an overview of your day and recent voice interactions.
Image: Google

Alongside these UI changes, Google is also now offering developers the ability to take payments from users directly through the assistant. From today, you’ll be able to purchase a subscription to a service like Headspace, or buy virtual items in a free to play game like Castle Master, using just your voice.

You can view more of the featured enhancements by scrolling through the gallery below:

Touch controls will allow you to fine tune the result of a voice command.Image: Google
Responses will include more visual elements that are easier to understand at a glance.Image: Google
A new messaging interface lets you make quick edits through touch.Image: Google

Comments

So they’re integrating the useful part of Google Now into Assistant? Cool, that’s what I’ve been asking for.

This honestly looks great!

Google Assistant is awesome. My one complaint would be that I wish Voice Match was done better. Saying ok google 4 times isn’t good enough to teach it your vocal patterns. Cortana at least has you read about 4 different sentences to learn your voice. It’s not a deal breaker though.

I know what you mean. It’s particularly annoying if you have third-party integrations that rely on voice match.

I have a routine within Google Assistant that turns off my TV using my Harmony remote and all my lights when I tell Google Assistant I’m leaving. Occasionally I’ll get a response like, ‘as I couldn’t recognise your voice I couldn’t connect you to Harmony’, which means I have to repeat the whole thing; at which point I’d probably have been quicker just to turn things off manually.

It only happens rarely, but an improved voice match would fix the issue.

That’s been happening a lot to me lately with Harmony. I have shortcuts set up, so I can say "Hey Google, TV" to turn it on. If the dishwasher is running or my voice is slightly hoarse, I get rejected.

What I’d like is for GA to ask me to confirm the command instead of rejecting it outright. That way, it could learn that my original command was valid and add to voice match. However, this could be a security risk.

What I’d like is for GA to ask me to confirm the command instead of rejecting it outright. That way, it could learn that my original command was valid and add to voice match. However, this could be a security risk.

That’s a great idea. Or perhaps have a check-box in the Assistant’s settings that allow ‘unverified access’ for individual apps. There are some third-party integrations that rightly need to be voice-verified, but frankly I’m not too worried about someone else coming into my home and turning my TV on. Obviously voice verification should be on for all apps by default, but the option to turn it off for apps that don’t really need it could be useful.

I’ve had this for a week on a tired old Moto running 7.0. What gives?

Why do you sound mad? Sounds like the Verge had to look into it more or haven’t received this update until recently.

…their Google-powered Smart Displays, and Google is rumored to be prepping its own to be revealed…

Google hardware leaks have gotten so bad that at first I thought this was a mistake and surely the Google Home Hub has already been revealed but then I remembered that no, the Pixel 3 is still to be unveiled and the Home Hub hasn’t even been confirmed. We consumers are months ahead of the Google release schedule!

3 years later and, the best smart Assistant out there and still they can’t even nail the interface on mobile yet. That redesign is still wack af. Look at the offset headers. It’s a mess. They haven’t even fully migrated the Now cards feed yet. It’s annoying. That shit is better designed than this one. They mailed the smart displays interface but not their app. Look at the Explore and Inbox icons, it’s not even Material design icons. It’s iOS 7 like. It’s disgusting

It’s hideous. What an eyesore. They still haven’t gotten the features from Google Now on Tap either. I shouldn’t have to take a screenshot and then use Google Photos to use Google Lens for OCR.

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