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Google Overhauls Assistant on Phones

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Oct 3, 2018, 12:42 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

Google today unveiled an entirely new version of its Google Assistant app for mobile phones. Moving forward, Assistant combines the benefits of voice- and touch-based searches into a single user interface that allows people to interact with buttons, sliders, and other tools as they come. Google focused on giving Assistant bigger visuals, meaning things are easier to see and understand quickly. Revised software controls should help people control their smart home devices, such as thermostats and speakers. The messaging interface is now interactive so people can use their fingers to add commas, change words, or make other adjustments to text. Assistant on Android phones in particular providers easy access to users' day and feed. It will more proactively offer curated results based on the time of day, your schedule, and recent searches/interactions with Assistant. Last, Google is giving brands new tools to take advantage of phone screens for search results. For example, new thumbnails allow Starbucks customers to select items on the menu and Food Network has larger images with its recipes. Developers and brands can put Assistant and its results to work for them. Google Assistant is free to download from the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store.

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