The Mobile World Congress is this week, but Google has not used the biggest mobile show of the year to make major Android announcements in recent years. However, the company has another mobile software platform that is just as important: the Google Assistant.
As a result, new features are being announced this year to expand into the evolving marketplace. For more Android phones, there is a Google Assistant button, Google Assistant gets a voice on KaiOS feature phones, and multi-language support is enhanced.
First, LG and Nokia go all-in with the Google Assistant button in Google phones, so it stands in their "full portfolio of new Android devices". Later this year, Xiaomi, TCL and Vivo will also launch phones with the button. When all these phones are sold, Google assumes that there will be over 1
Fortunately, Google is working to enforce some button consistency. It starts with a single press, double-press displays the wizard's daily information, and press and hold to start Walkie-Talkie mode. Unfortunately, Google will not allow the reassignment of this button – something that Samsung has to do with its dedicated Bixby button. However, it can be turned off, and I was told that when remapping, Google may be "flexible" depending on the response.
Second, Google expands the possibilities that the assistant in KaiOS, a calling telephone platform, has steam in developing markets. Google invested $ 22 million in the operating system last year. Today, it penetrates deeper into this operating system. If a user now sees a cursor on the screen, they can use voice input instead of T9 to listen to messages using Google Assistant. Google states that many KaiOS users prefer to leave their phone's user interface in English, even though they speak a different language, and the wizard will continue to work for the voice application on these phones.
Speaking of languages: Google adds support for seven new Indic languages: Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Urdu. It also extends support for bilingual speakers. Previously you could seamlessly switch between English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Italian. Now add Korean, Hindi, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Dutch to the list.
Last but not least, Google is expanding the locations where the wizard appears in Android apps. Google Assistant has already integrated Google Maps into Maps, but this feature is no longer available only for English. All languages supported by Google Assistant will be displayed. It's also Android news, the default SMS app from Google. We have a detailed list of them, but the most important thing you probably want to know is that Google will not scan your texts to enable this feature.