In addition to a big visual redesign for Assistant on phones, Actions on Google today are becoming a more viable platform for developers. These Google Assistant apps can now offer subscriptions and other digital goods to users.
Actions on Google already support transactions for physical items, but developers can now offer digital goods like one-time in-app purchases or recurring subscriptions. These new levels or expansion packs can be purchased starting today on Smart Displays, speakers, and phones. It is already enabled in the U.S. and coming to more locales soon.
Google Sign-In for the Assistant is also launching today so that purchases can be be remembered and enabled. This secure authentication method allows users to use their voice to log-in and links accounts on Google Assistant devices.
The process is as simple as tapping or providing vocal confirmation instead of having to manually enter a username and password. Additionally, existing accounts can be linked with a verified email address.
For developers, Google Sign-In also makes it easier to support login and personalize your Action for users. Previously, developers needed to build an account system and support OAuth-based account linking in order to personalize their Action. Now, you have the option to use Google Sign-In to support login for any user with a Google account.
Meanwhile, as part of today’s visual Google Assistant redesign, Actions on Google can take up the entire screen of a phone. This new look focussed on large touch targets and images comes as Google notes that “nearly half of all interactions with the Assistant today include both voice and touch.”
With this redesign, we’re making the Assistant more visually assistive for users, combining voice with touch in a way that gives users the right controls in the right situations.