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

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

Just a couple of weeks ago, Actions on Google added 7 new languages and deeper integration with Android apps. Today, in preparation for their big presence at SXSW, Google is announcing even more updates. Actions on Google is the developer side of Google Assistant integrations. It allows third-party developers to create conversation-based actions on Assistant. New Actions on Google for developers mean new Assistant features for everyone.

Starting today, users will have access to more media playback on smart speakers and Android phones. New things like meditation sessions, relaxing sounds, and even clips from TV shows will be available. Voice commands can be used to pause or replay media, and a media player will appear on your phone. Users can turn off the phone screen and still listen to the audio. TV shows like The Daily Show will have segments available for playback and general show information.

Subscriptions were one of the original features of Google Assistant when it was only available in Allo. The latest update adds more functionality to this feature. You’ll be able to subscribe to notifications from Actions. For example, you can be notified of a stock price change or news alert as it happens. Esquire and Forbes are a few websites taking advantage of this new ability.

Assistant Actions now support something Google is calling “Custom Device Actions.” These basically allow Assistant devices to understand more specific voice commands. Google uses the example of turning on a connected oven. Before, you might say something simple like “Ok Google, turn on the oven.” Now you can say a more specific command such as “Ok Google, set the oven to convection and preheat to 350-degrees.” It also means you won’t have to use the annoying “Talk to [blank]” command.

Developers can take advantage of most of these features right now. Users can expect to see these features roll out as they get adopted.

Source: Google Dev Blog

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