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Google announces deeper Assistant control for third-party apps

Google Assistant stock photo 1

I’m probably not overstating things when I say the Google Assistant has become one of Google’s most important products. While the dream of a completely touch-free computing experience may not have been realized yet for most people, the Assistant has worked its way into people’s lives through a variety of products like the Google Home and Chromecast. And while the Assistant has been awesome for controlling your smart home and asking for answers from the internet, it hasn’t yet allowed you to completely control your device without actually touching it.

But now, Google is looking to change that. In a blog post this morning, Google announced deeper Assistant integration with apps, starting with a list of selected partners.

Also read: Google Assistant guide: Making the most of your virtual assistant

This integration will allow you to do things that would normally require several taps in the apps themselves. A few examples Google uses are logging a berry smoothie in MyFitnessPal or starting a run with Nike Run Club. If you don’t have to unlock your phone and physically input information, that’s a pretty huge time saver.

Google has kicked off this deeper integration by partnering with over 30 of the top apps on the Google Play store. Here’s a list of some of the apps with deeper Assistant compatibility:

  1. Nike Adapt
  2. Nike Run Club
  3. Spotify
  4. Postmates
  5. MyFitnessPal
  6. Mint
  7. Discord
  8. Walmart
  9. Etsy
  10. Snapchat
  11. Twitter

On apps that support it, you can also create custom shortcut phrases that will perform these actions for you. Google uses the example that if you have Nike Adapt training shoes, you can create a shortcut that triggers when you say “Hey Google, lace it,” which will automatically tighten your shoes. You can check out shortcuts and create your own by saying “Hey Google, show me my shortcuts.”

The new functionality is a big step towards Google offering a completely hands-free computing experience. While Android 11 already added some seriously great voice control accessibility options, this adds even more functionality to the Google Assistant.

Google is also hosting its Google Assistant Developer Day today, where it plans to discuss ways all developers can get in on the action. If you’ve got a favorite app and wish it had deeper Assistant integration, there’s a chance it may be coming soon.

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