Google announced that now it’s possible to use Google Assistant with third-party apps on Android phones. So, Android users will be able to search and control their third-party apps when they ask it to Google Assistant. Google is rolling out the ability to search apps, use voice commands for popular tasks like sending text messages, ask for the news on Twitter, or browsing your shopping cart. For example, you can now say, “Hey Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy” and get right to what you’re looking for. Or if you’re looking for something (or someone) specific within an app, just say, “Hey Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.”
Previously, Google Assistant’s third-party support was largely limited to some custom actions, mostly apps that run within Assistant. With the new functionality, Google Assistant will work directly with apps that you have installed on your phone. Now, these kinds of voice commands will work with more than 30 of the top apps on Google Play. “People do a lot more with their apps beyond simply opening and searching within apps, and we want to enable voice commands to those frequent tasks, too. Now you can do things like playing music, starting a run, posting on social media, ordering food, paying back a friend, hailing a ride—the list goes on and on—all with just your voice. Starting today, you can try doing more using your voice with more than 30 of the top apps on Google Play available in English globally, with more apps coming.” Google states.
Google Assistant brings new functionality to most common tasks as well. For your most common tasks, you can create custom shortcut phrases. So instead of saying, “Hey Google, tighten my shoes with Nike Adapt,” you can create a shortcut to just say, “Hey Google, lace it.” You can explore suggested shortcuts or create your own by simply saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts” to get to the settings screen.
With this new functionality, Assistant makes hands-free navigation easier if your hands are full. It can also help visually impaired people by offering them an alternative way to interact with their apps.