Heads up, Cortana. Google Assistant is coming to PC via Google Chrome.
The erstwhile mobile-exclusive personal assistant is coming to all devices, now that Google has made its software development kit public. Through the Google Chrome extension AutoVoice, Google Assistant can now be used on PCs. It takes time to set up, but it opens up a myriad of uses via voice commands.
AutoVoice And Google Assistant
AutoVoice developer João Dias posted in his blog a video showing him interacting with Google Assistant on his PC using AutoVoice for Chrome. According to him, because the AutoVoice extension is “always listening,” users can utilize any wake-up phrase if they want to call Google Assistant. Then, they can use the normal commands they use on other Google Assistant devices.
In the video, Dias asked Assistant “Hey, Google. What can you do?” to which Assistant replied “I can do lots of things.” The Assistant then offered several options such as checking the calendar, playing a music from a playlist, or reading the latest news.
The setup looks neat, but it can be quite a workload for those without technical know-how. The setup takes two steps: one, getting Assistant onto the PC; and two, syncing it with AutoVoice.
To get Assistant on PC, a tutorial is available in the XDA developers’ page. Again, this is not an easy task as Google only released the SDK to developers, thus installing requires tinkering with the API and other coding stuff. For the AutoVoice, it is available online via the Google Chrome extension store.
Afterward, the setup will require one more tweaking, as some command lines must be written to install the special AutoVoice version of the Google Assistant. Thankfully, Dias shared a tutorial.
AutoVoice is a Google Chrome extension and Tasker app plugin that performs tasks via voice commands. These tasks include playing music or redirecting calls to a Bluetooth headset.
Google Assistant is another name in the growing line of virtual assistants. Introduced in 2016, Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Cortana, Siri, and Alexa. It debuted as part of the messaging app Allo, then moved to Google flagship phones Pixel and Pixel XL.
It was then deployed to other Android platforms, including Android Wear. This April, it was made available for developers when its SDK was made public.
Touted as a next-gen version of Google Now, which is basically a voice-activated Google search, Google Assistant adds interaction to the one-way feature of Now. Via voice commands, it can perform simple tasks like suggesting restaurants, playing music, opening up calendar reminders, and opening apps.