Amazon's deluge of Alexa and Echo integrations and tie-ins at CES last January caught Google a bit flat-footed. It seems Google is looking to return the favor at IFA. The company announced several new third-party products that either have Google Assistant built in, so you can talk to them like Google Home, or that work with Google Assistant, so you can control them with voice commands. On the control front, Google announced that several new LG washing machines, clothes dryers, and vacuums will respond to voice commands spoken to a Google Home, Android smartphone, iPhone, or any other device with Google Assistant built in. Say "OK Google, start vacuuming," and your LG robot vacuum will fire up and start cleaning your floors.
Google's voice assistant is about to be available on a lot more devices beyond the Google Home and Android phones. The AI - which rivals Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Microsoft's Cortana - will now be found on a new set of third-party speakers and appliances, the company announced today at IFA the consumer electronics show in Germany. These devices will either come with Google Assistant built in (meaning you can talk to it) or will be compatible with it (meaning you can use the assistant to control it). Google Assistant- which rivals Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Microsoft's Cortana - will now be found on a new set of third-party speakers and appliances, the company announced today at IFA the consumer electronics show in Germany. Google's voice assistant is about to be available on a lot more devices beyond the Google Home and Android phones.
Alexa is making its move. While Amazon's virtual assistant has been tied to its own devices since its introduction more than two years ago, it is now beginning its an all-out assault on Siri and Google Assistant as it looks to establish a foothold on iOS and Android. But entering enemy territory isn't going to be easy. Apple and Google have both built their AI aides deeply into their mobile operating systems, so Alexa has to live inside apps for now. On the iPhone it's inside the Amazon shopping app, and on the Mate 9 (the only Android phone that supports it), it's accessible via a dedicated Huawei Alexa app.
Assistant might be the future of voice-controlled intelligence on our Google devices, but Google hasn't made it easy to get it. There are versions of it on Google Home, the new LG watches, or in Allo chats, but if you wanted the full mobile Assistant experience you had to commit to buying one of the Pixel phones. That's all about to change with a coming Play Services update. Right on the heels of LG's declaration that the G6 would be the first third-party phone to feature Assistant, Google announced that it would be bringing its voice-activated conceirge to all phones running Nougat and Marshmallow. As it is with the Pixel, users will be able to summon Assistant by saying OK Google or long-pressing on the home button.
Google is cramming Assistant into everything from headphones to a pressure cooker as it inches toward getting the smart helper into a billion devices. Aside from the weirder collabs (Assistant in a shower anyone?) one of the places the AI would actually be helpful is in your car, especially if you don't want to fork out for an Android Auto infotainment system. To that end, Google is teaming up with accessories-maker Anker -- which is also bringing Alexa to older vehicles inside its upcoming $50 Bluetooth charger -- on a new in-car receiver that plays nice with the digital brainiac. The new "Roav Bolt" is a small, unassuming device that connects your phone to your vehicle's stereo to let you talk to Assistant, allowing you to keep your eyes glued to the road and your phone in your pocket (or with the kids in the backseat). Just plug the Bolt into your car's lighter socket and hook up your phone via Bluetooth or AUX to play music, get directions, or answer the phone through the speakers.