Google has proven itself over and over as a leading company in technology and innovation. Many of their products have changed the way we work as well as how we find and consume information, often taking current products and tools to a new level entirely. The chances are high that you use many of them on a daily basis, including the Google search engine, Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, calendar, and more.
And now Google is attempting to shake up the game again by taking on the likes of virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa with its own version, Google Assistant.
What is Google Assistant?
Google Assistant was launched in May 2016, but the product has gained traction and exposure lately as Google has launched products like its Google Home (Google’s speaker, which is comparable to Amazon’s Alexa or Echo).
Like Siri, Google Assistant is voice activated, and works seamlessly with apps on your smartphone, tablet, and computer. While it works best on Google devices like Pixel, Chromebook, and Google’s new Wear OS, it can be downloaded on the iPhone and iPad. If you want a complete breakdown of what Google Assistant is and which devices it works well with, we highly recommend this blog post, or you can check out this video from Google below.
What It’s Like Using Google Assistant
Just for kicks, I took Google Assistant for a test drive for the past week (note: I currently use an iPhone, so my thoughts are going to be affected by that). One small limitation that Google Assistant faces as a third party app on an Apple device is that it is a little more difficult trying to get to Assistant. Siri is easily activated by holding down the home button, but attempting to do this and get Google will only earn you a snarky remark.
Well played, Siri.
Once I opened the Google Assistant app, however, I found it incredibly easy to use to send quick emails, set reminders, and (my personal favorite) set up calendar notifications. I also had fun exploring the trending section as well (thank goodness, Thanos did NOT kill me. Although that probably doesn’t bode well for my life expectancy after Avengers 4).
I also played around with using Google Assistant to locate nearby coffee shops and restaurants and found it to be incredibly accurate. You can even call a location straight from the app.
One of the things I wanted to try but was unable to was using Google Assistant to connect to my home. It currently isn’t compatible with the home security I use, and I don’t have a smart thermostat at this time. However, reviews I read shared that Google Assistant is easy to use with compatible options. Just a quick “Hey Google” will allow you to change your home’s temperature or dim the lights before bed.
While Google Assistant operates with the same principles as Siri or Alexa, one of the things that sets it apart is its fluency in engaging with users. Thanks to its natural language processing algorithm, using Google Assistant is a lot like having a two way conversation.
Why Google Assistant Matters for Brands
If you’re currently using some of Google’s well known apps for managing work, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, or Google Drive, you’re probably going to enjoy using Google Assistant to shoot off a quick email, open a document to review, or set up a calendar event. However, Google Assistant can also benefit your business in other ways.
Google Assistant can connect with brands and services. For example, a user can ask their Google Assistant to “buy mascara from Ulta” or “look at the menu for P.F. Chang’s”. If your brand’s website is not completely optimized for Google, you’re not going to easily show up in these kinds of queries.
Google Assistant also offers popular categories for trends. You can find out the latest on the weather, what’s happening on popular news sites, the most up to date art exhibit, and more. The more you are creating fresh content pertaining to categories relevant to your business, the greater chance you have of one of your web pages showing up when a user comes to this section. This is also a great place to stay up to date on news and trends to help you create relevant, timely posts on social media that engage current events.
Google hasn’t just innovated the world of virtual assistants. They’ve developed quite the arsenal of tools, products, and social platforms like YouTube and Google+. While you’ve probably watched a video or two on YouTube, you might not be as familiar with using Google+. Want to learn how to get the most out of Google+ for your business? Download our free ebook below!