Have you ever gone to the supermarket, only to discover that you forgot your weekly grocery list? Or been in the middle of a shower listening to your favorite song when suddenly you receive a call you have to pick up urgently? What about being too tired to switch off the light in the room during the night? Well, virtual assistants have come about to bring solutions to these kinds of problems. For iPhone users, it's Siri. Amazon devices, Alexa. And for Android device lovers, Google Assistant. While the first two are well known, Google Assistant is latest from Google services to help users out in their day-to-day lives. But is it as good as Siri and Alexa?
Android’s very own AI
Google Assistant is simply brilliant and powerful (and easy-to-use) making it the best virtual assistant for Android users.
You can now be in control of your smart devices even without having to operate them manually thanks to Google’s latest AI help. Google Assistant offers practical features such as voice commands, voice searching, and voice-activated device control--perfect for making progress in your daily tasks and activities.
To start engaging with it, you'll just have to say either Ok Google or Hey, Google audibly. Your mobile phones and smart speakers will respond to your voice even if you're across the room due to its finely-tuned, far-field microphone built in Google devices. If two or more devices recognize your command/s, only the closest one to your position will respond. Since it's designed to answer naturally, you don't have to repeat words for follow-up requests. In fact, it listens for your response without needing you to say trigger phrases. Since it has the ability to understand the context, expect that it will react to you in an informed and smart way (rather than robotically). It also has the ability to recognize different voice profiles, leading to its tailored responses based on the person talking to it. You can train it on your preferred device to answer to six different voice patterns, available for all members of the household. Customize the Assistant's voice by choosing from a variety of available voices including cameos from John Legend. Just say the words Hey Google, talk like a Legend. Here are the rundown benefits of Google's AI: Have control with your smart devices and smart home even remotely; get timely reminders from your calendar and other saved personal routines; receive daily updates of the weather forecast and news from your selected news station/s; see fast and reliable online search results; open apps from your mobile phone through voice command; play your favorite songs through a selection of available music player including Spotify; and so much more.
You can use the AI through your Android phone since it is one of the preset features of the release. The AI will work on your phone through voice commands and a visual page. To get its attention, you can say its wake words or simply press and hold on your phone's home button. Once you prompt the AI, you can swipe the pop-up box to see the page that contains all sorts of information relevant to you. Quick actions are located at the top part of the page specifically for what AI thinks you might be interested in.
Where can you run this program?
The virtual assistant was originally launched exclusively for Google Pixel smartphones and Google Home. Thankfully, Google expanded its services allowing the newest Android devices to run the AI system. It is now available for smartphones, Android TVs, Android auto, and even Wear OS devices. Even smart speakers produced by third-party manufacturers such as Sony, Sonos, LG, and Panasonic can now offer the system. It is also available on the iPhone, although with some restrictions. Assistant is compatible with Samsung's own AI system, Bixby.
Is there a better alternative?
Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa are the two most popular virtual assistants you can explore. The two may be comparable because of similarity found in the virtual services provided by the two. However, they actually differ in terms of devices and audiences. Alexa is the AI-powered software available in Amazon Echo smart speaker (Google Home's counterpart) and Fire TV remote control. This popular AI can help you from the most unproductive tasks such as dimming the lights to getting you the most needed info for the day such as traffic updates. Although some of your inquiries or requests may still hit dead ends with a reply of Sorry, I don't know that one. This is where Assistant takes the lead. Google's virtual assistant can answer all your questions naturally thanks to its wide database. However, Alexa lets you interact with way more smart home devices, apps, and other useful services.
Since its release, Google Assistant is making its way up to the top spot challenging its most popular competitor, Amazon's Alexa. The AI system's relevance to your daily activities is undeniable. Its wide-range availability of voice commands allows you to be in control from the moment you wake up to the moment you need to switch the lights off. It is also your perfect buddy in doing your morning routine, preparing your family dinner, driving home from work, or listening to your favorite party jam. Just like its similar AIs, it is available in almost all of your smart devices especially in your Android mobile phones where it is already integrated.
Should you download it?
If you're an Android user, then you can already use this AI system without even downloading it. But if you're trying it for the first time, it is highly recommended to buy Google Home Mini (for a surprisingly affordable price) to test out the whole virtual assistant experience. The AI system is convenient if you really need a helpful app to guide your everyday tasks.
- Integrated within latest Android devices
- Reliable with wide-range functions
- Supports various music services including Spotify
- Responds in a smart and informative way
- Ability to change to different AI voices
- Lack of privacy controls
- Limited to Android and few smart devices