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Google today introduced a series of new features for its Actions on Google platform for third-party voice apps, including a new browsing carousel to showcase content and greater control over the kind of audio an action can play.

The media response API introduced today allows developers to incorporate things like news briefs, clips from TV shows, and interactive stories, according to a blog post by Google Assistant product managers Brad Abrams and Chris Ramsdale. Like other audio content on an Android phone, actions using the media response API can be controlled from a phone’s lock screen or notifications area.

Early adopters of the media response API include CNBC and The Daily Show.

Carousels are visual displays for Google Assistant voice apps that allow you to browse left to right on your smartphone. Browsing carousels, made available for the first time today, give voice apps the ability to share things like website links and other content. Previous carousels made available to developers could be used for visual aids but were made primarily to lead back into a voice experience.

Also out today: Voice apps can now send daily updates or event-triggered push notifications to users, a feature first introduced in the fall and made generally available today. Voice app users must opt in to receive push notifications. Push notifications for package deliveries and Alexa skills were introduced by Amazon in November.

The additions to the Actions on Google platform follow a series of changes announced last month ahead of the Mobile World Conference, which brought Google Assistant voice app development to 7 new languages and made it possible to connect a Google Assistant voice app with an Android OS app.


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