At Google I/O last month — just like Microsoft and Apple developer conferences — virtually every announcement was related to artificial intelligence or intelligent assistants. Some major changes were made to Google Assistant, including a new App Directory, the introduction of payments with voice apps, a Google Assistant app for iPhone, and the ability to access voice apps on devices like Android phones.
Since then, more than 40 voice apps have been added that give users a series of new abilities, from a Prayer Pal to the introduction of one of the most popular voice apps to date.
From History Channel, the This Day in History action gives detailed, lengthy descriptions of historical events for any day of the year and appears to draw on the same vast corpus of knowledge that drives an Alexa skill by the same name. Since its release in early 2017, This Day in History has become one of the most popular skills in the Alexa Skills Store, almost permanently a part of the Top Enabled skills category.
Prayer Pal helps adherents of Islam observe Ramadan and mark times to pray based on location. Prayer Pal joins a host of religious voice apps that have been made available for Google Assistant, from Divine Song, an action that plays songs from the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, to YouVersion, a Bible-reading action with a narrator that can read scripture based on your mood.
Chat with Sigmund is an action with a slight Germanic accent to mimic Sigmund Freud. Chat with Sigmund is modeled after Eliza, a therapist bot first made at MIT in the 1960s.
In games, some basic classics are now available, like Truth or Dare and Classic Hangman. There’s also more interactive games for groups of people, like Absurd is the Word, Discovery Patterns, and Word Nerd.
IoT controls continue to be a large part of Google Assistant app offerings, with actions to control motion sensors on the Alfred Camera or sprinklers on Blossom.
For electric car owners, the EV Car action answers a range of questions like the charge status of the car and its location; it even lets you control the car temperature, honk the horn, or start charging.
In the novelty category, realTalk dispenses Chuck Norris quotes, while Round of Applause is true to its title. If you’re looking for a challenge, there’s Squared Circle Wrestling Trivia and Geek Girl Rising Trivia Game.
Among utilities, there’s Tipping Calculator, as well as Spanish Teacher and German Teacher created by the startup Magiclingua.
Another impressive recent arrival is Mail Buddy. When linked to a Gmail account, Mailbot is able to read and sift through emails.
Delay Repay was made to help people in the United Kingdom apply for compensation when their train is delayed.
Since the launch of the Actions on Google platform last December, more than 300 actions have been listed on the Google Home app.