Google is announcing a couple of major upgrades to its Assistant smart assistant at MWC in Barcelona this week. The company is bringing several language-related features to Assistant, as well as new partner programs to offer better experiences for its customers.
By the end of this year, Google plans to extend Assistant by introducing support for 22 new languages, including Hindi, Dutch, Danish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai. The bigger feature here, however, is the new multilingual support for Assistant which will let users use different languages with Assistant on the fly — without having to set up a different language. Multilingual support will be available later this year for English, French, and German, though the company is working on bringing support for more languages in the coming months.
Google is also working with its OEM partners, including Xiaomi, Sony Mobile, and LG to introduce better, on-device Assistant integrations for new Android devices — this is likely part of the search giant’s upcoming Assistant push on the next version of Android, codenamed Pistachio. Elsewhere, the company is working with mobile carriers like Sprint, Telus, Vodafone, and Koodo to introduce new Assistant integrations that make it easier for customers to check their data plan, add new services or communicate with the carrier’s customer support.
Assistant getting support for 22 new languages by the end of this year is actually quite huge. It only supports 8 languages right now, which is far behind Apple Siri’s support for 20 languages. Adding support for 22 new languages to Assistant by the end of 2018 will potentially be challenging for Google, but the company’s tech and data from Google Translation and its machine learning tech are likely making things a whole lot easier. These new features will be rolled out over this year, though Google is starting to roll out location-based reminders for its Home devices as well a support for six new Routines (multiple commands) this week.