A week before the big Pixel 3 unveil, Google started rolling out a new version of its Assistant for smartphones. The update brings additional Material Design touches and makes some elements bigger, and easier to read at a glance.
Google is also adding touch-interactive elements to replies within the Google Assistant for improved and quicker interactions with your phone. So for example, if you ask the Assistant to dim the light, it will now serve up the relevant slider and adjust the dimmer directly from the Assistant screen.
Another inclusion is an interactive messaging interface that lets users touch to edit a voice-dictated message they composed with the Assistant. What’s more, on Android, users can open the Google Assistant and swipe up to see their Overview feed.
Alongside these UI changes, Google is also now offering developers the ability to take payments from users straight through the assistant. So, you’ll be able to do things like buying a subscription to meditation service Headspace, simply by uttering the verbal command to do so.
Google is offering other tools to developers so they can use the device’s touch screen within Assistant. Examples include Starbucks having thumbnails in its menu or Food Network displaying larger images in recipes. As for FitStar, it can flaunt workouts via GIFs.
On top of that, Google has also introduced Google Sign-In for Assistant, a secure authentication method that simplifies account linking for users and as a result voice-controlled purchases.
All these features have already started rolling out, so if you want to experience the new Google Assistant on your phone keep an eye out for them.