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.
If you're listening to music when you press the button, the music will pause and then automatically resume after you've told Alexa what you need (it will also resume within a few seconds if you don't say anything). As with many higher-end Bluetooth headphones, the OV support the aptX codec to deliver better-than-average audio quality over Bluetooth. You can use the button on the right-hand ear bud to summon Google Assistant or Siri, depending on the type of phone you're using. Its primary role is to handle phone calls and to provide you with access to your digital assistant of choice.