At the moment, Google Assistant on Pixel and Home is still very much limited in what it can do. With the launch of Actions on Google, the company is finally opening up its Assistant to third-party developers and services. Google Home will be the first device to benefit, with Google taking a noticeably more curated approach.
Developers will first have access to Conversation Actions on Google Home. As demoed back in October, users can engage with third-party services for information, service, and assistance, all in the form of a conversation.
In an interview with The Verge, Director for Actions Jason Douglas revealed that Google is going to approve all keywords used to trigger actions, leading to a more curated experience. The advantage is that users don’t have to download which integrations they want to use ahead of time.
Google worked with a number of partners including conversational interaction development tools API.AI and Gupshup, analytics tools DashBot and VoiceLabs and consulting companies such as Assist, Notify.IO, Witlingo and Spoken Layer. Their developer site features samples and voice user interface (VUI) resources.
Partners, like BuzzFeed, Quora, and Dominos, have been given early access to these tools and will begin to rollout integrations in the coming weeks. The full list of partners mostly includes news publications, as well as information services like WebMD, Food Network, and Motley Fool.
Actions for Pixel and Allo are coming soon, with Google Home gaining priority. Developers can sign up now to be an early access partner for those platforms, with the company working on enabling support for purchases and booking though voice, as well as deeper Assistant integrations across verticals.