With the growing prominence of personal assistants and voice search, Google has catered to businesses by giving developers the ability to create their very own Google Assistant conversation actions.
Actions on Google was first previewed in October 2016. Two months later on 8 December, Google announced that the feature was available to all developers, allowing them to create conversation actions for Google Assistant. Along with the launch of Actions on Google, came the announcement of more upcoming features: Actions for Pixel and Allo, as well as booking and purchase support – which can be used in advance by requesting to become an early access partner for future updates.
Actions on Google allows developers to create a response message when Google Assistant is asked a question. For example, two demo actions were created to be presented with the launch. If a user asks the Google Assistant to “talk to Number Genie”, they’ll be presented with a number guessing game, and if they ask to “talk to Eliza”, a 1960s chatbot experiment is displayed.
Some developer actions will prompt the voice and behaviour of Google Assistant to change entirely, opening up new capabilities and taking away the ability to carry out some actions that are usually available through the regular Google Assistant chatbot – showing that the custom-made developer commands are not entirely integrated with Google’s chatbot – but are in fact standalone apps.
Find out more about the new Actions on Google feature today by visiting Ron Amadeo’s coverage on Ars Technica.