Google Assistant will soon add one tap shortcuts from your favorite apps
Google Assistant today surfaces a set of action suggestions at the bottom of the screen that help you quickly perform an action or learn more about a response. For example, when I launch Assistant on my device, the first two action suggestions are “what’s on my shopping list” and “what’s the weather” because those are the two things that I ask Assistant about the most. According to the “Android shortcuts for Assistant” talk at Google I/O 2021, Google is preparing to preview a new feature called Suggestion Chips that are basically action suggestions for deep linking into third-party apps.
These Suggestion Chips will be placed at the same location as the existing action suggestions at the bottom of the Assistant UI. This new feature builds upon the shortcut support that Google recently added to Assistant back in October. Third-party apps today can surface shortcuts that Google Assistant can launch, but currently, these shortcuts can only be launched through a voice command once the user sets them up in Assistant settings. With the new Suggestion Chips feature, users have one tap access to a deep link that leads to the relevant page in an app. As an example, Google shows a shortcut in Assistant for “See What’s Trending” that, when tapped, opens the Reddit app to the trending tab.
Any static or dynamic shortcuts that an app defines in its shortcuts.xml file will be read by Google Assistant and shown automatically to users in Assistant settings. The Assistant will proactively recommend shortcuts to users based on usage patterns, and developers can also add in-app shortcut suggestions to recommend the user to add a shortcut while they’re in the app, rather than having to wait for them to discover the shortcut through Google Assistant itself.
In addition, Android 12 unlocks the limit set by Android’s ShortcutManager APIs. Now, developers can build an unlimited set of shortcuts rather than merely being limited to 10.
Lastly, Google says it will surface app suggestions as shortcuts underneath the search bar. It’s possible this will be tied into the new universal app search feature that Google is testing on the Pixel Launcher.
You can watch the full session on Android shortcuts for Assistant from YouTube: