[Update: Rolling out] Google Assistant for smartphones to get visual update, food delivery, Maps integration
Among the many updates to Google Assistant announced today at Google I/O is a visual update to the smartphone app, Google Maps integration, and new partnerships with DoorDash, Starbucks, Applebee’s, and other food services, so you can use it to get food delivered or arrange for easy pickup.
When the update takes effect “later this year” you’ll be able to simply say “Hey Google, order me a London broil with baked potato from Applebee’s” or if DoorDash is available in your area, something like “OK Google, get me a steak fajita combo delivered from Max’s”. Other notable food-service partners include Dunkin Donuts, Domino’s, Just Eat, 7-Eleven, and Panera Bread.
While driving with the help of Google Maps navigation, you’ll eventually be able to interact more fully with Google Assistant without taking hands off the wheel or eyes off the road. For example, you’ll be able to get newly received text messages read to you and it’ll transcribe your voice responses without leaving the navigation screen. The details are described as follows in Google’s blog post:
“The Assistant is coming to navigation in Google Maps later this summer, with a low visual profile so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. You’ll be able to send text messages, play music and podcasts, and get information without leaving the navigation screen. For example, say “Hey Google, read me my messages” and you can get a summary of unread texts with the option to respond by voice.”
The Assistant interface on the phone is also getting redesigned. You’ll be able to see a “snapshot” of your day with suggestions that change throughout the day. Services will be able to integrate with Assistant and show information as well. It’s sort of like the old Google Now page reimagined for Assistant. Keep a lookout for these features to roll out this year.
Update: Visual Changes Rolling Out
We’ve already seen some of the Assistant updates roll out, like the My Day cards and the updated smart home controls. Some users are now seeing the bigger cards and more visual responses that Google teased. The cards are easier to read and include more controls. It looks more like what you see on the Assistant-enabled smart displays. This is a server-side update, so you won’t need an APK. It seems to be rolling out very slowly.