Google Home is now fair game after Google officially unlocks it for developers last Dec. 8. The developer community has now been given the go ahead to develop what the company touts as “conversation actions.”
Google Home vs. Amazon’s Alexa
The move is widely seen as a direct challenge to Amazon’s smart speakers, which now have a comprehensive list of third-party integrations. Conversation actions are analogous to its Alexa skills.
Google, however, is quick to point out that the conversation actions are more sophisticated since it simulates actual human conversation.
“It really is a conversation — users won’t need to enable a skill or install an app, they can just ask to talk to your action,” Google said in a blog post directed to developers. “Conversation Actions let you engage your users to deliver information, services, and assistance.”
Google Home And Bot Conversation
For more insights, one could turn first to how Amazon lets users interact and complete tasks with Alexa through its skills.
For example, one can purchase a Twitter-oriented skill at Alexa Skills Marketplace and once this is downloaded and installed on Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap or Amazon Echo Dot, you can now trigger it by saying “Alexa” with the corresponding command. It will then perform tasks such as responses about Twitter mentions, updates and trending information.
Google Action, on the other hand, will let a user query the speaker and proceed on having a conversation about it. If he asks Google Home for Uber, the process becomes more effective because of the ability to clarify specifics. This is made possible through AI technology that effectively sets the user in conversation with a bot.
Google maintains that there is no need to install a skill or an app. All the user needs is to just say, “OK Google” alongside the service that he needs. The “Talk to Personal Chef” service, for instance, will immediately trigger the Personal Chef action.
Developing Actions For Google Home
So, while Google is trying to undermine Alexa’s skills with claims that its actions are more sophisticated and smart, there is still the fact that Google Home still trails Amazon’s smart speakers in term of these functionalities.
Today, Alexa boasts of thousands of skills in its marketplace that is why Google is scrambling to catch up. Developers are critical in this initiative especially since developing an AI-powered bot can be challenging. This has prompted the latest invitation for developers to first create Google Home actions.
It is important to note that Google Home is not yet fully unlocked to developers. Google, however, is promising to open the platform soon.
“We’ll continue to add more platform capabilities over time, including the ability to make your integrations available across the various Assistant surfaces like Pixel phones and Google Allo,” Google said. “We’ll also enable support for purchases and bookings as well as deeper Assistant integrations across verticals.”
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