A series of new conversation actions have been added for Google Home users to play with, ranging from info about the cafeteria at Carnegie Mellon University to CNN and air quality updates from around the world.
Roughly 10 new services from third-party creators were added to Google Assistant in the past week. More than 80 actions have been added since the launch of the Actions on Google platform last December, with Aeden from Westworld found alongside brands like Kayak and BuzzFeed.
Third-party Google Assistant conversation actions are only available to chat with on Google Home today. The search giant plans to extend third-party conversation actions to Pixel smartphones and other devices later this year, a member of the Google Assistant team told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
Continuing its journey into city services, Google Assistant now has actions to help you catch a school bus in Hopkins, Minnesota or track your favorite bus in real time in Dublin, Ireland.
Other conversation actions added within the past week:
CNN’s action will give you an update about any topic in the news you want to talk about, and the action will draw on previously aired coverage, debate, or analysis. This is different from the CNN News Briefing available for Google Home. Ask for the latest news, and you won’t receive a live feed of CNN news. Instead, there’s a five-minute delay. This continues CNN’s steady march into bots and AI assistants. You can also reach CNN on Facebook Messenger, Line, Kik, and through Alexa.
World Air Quality Index tells you about… wait for it… air quality. Data that the action draws on comes from the World Air Quality Index Project, which is able to provide information about air quality index scores from most population centers around the world.
Computer-aided design company Onshape has made a Google Assistant action to provide designers with project updates.
The SimilarWeb skill will tell you the top referrer websites for a keyword and about the costs-per-click rate for a keyword or the number of queries for a specific keyword.
Elsewhere in the chat war playing out among tech giants, Microsoft’s Cortana Skills Kit is due out later this month (a date has not been announced), Alexa recently surpassed 8,000 skills, and Samsung plans to unveil its Bixby AI assistant along with the Samsung S8 smartphone next month.