Google virtual assistant set to be on one billion devices

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Therefore, Google's virtual assistant may reach up to 10 times as many users as Amazon's.

Google has also worked to expand Assistant into other parts of the world. On Android, Assistant will work with SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and others, though Google cautions that functionality will vary by service. So for those that don't have Android Auto in their cars, but want a slightly better solution than just talking to your phone, Anker's $50 (£39; United Kingdom pricing and availability TBA) Roav Bolt and JBL's similarly priced Link Drive Plug let you connect your phone to your vehicle via an aux jack or Bluetooth so you can use their built-in noise cancelling mics to talk to the Google Assistant with increased clarity.

The announcement is not super flashy, but it's an important one for Google as it battles Amazon's Alexa.

Amazon still has nearly three times the smart home support of GoogleReally, though, the big contributor to Google's billion Assistant devices is Android phones.

When our friends at SoundGuys first reviewed the Sonos One near the end of 2017, they were left pleading for Google Assistant support. The idea behind the platform is to let product makers put an Assistant experience on their products that utilize Assistant on a linked device without needing all the hardware and software required to build an Assistant-powered device.

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Amazon's strategy for Alexa this year will be a continuation of what it's been doing so far: building the foundation for an ambient computing platform, Limp added.

The big picture: Smart assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri have always been popular, but they've only really started to pick up traction over the past couple of years.

New Google Assistant features include natural conversation, multiple voice settings, and more smart home compatibility. Amazon just announced there are 100 million Alexa devices out there, so if we're treating all devices as equal, Google has ten times as many voice command devices in the wild than Amazon. One of those devices is the DISH Hopper, this is going to allow you to search for content based on the actor, genre, title or channel, using your voice.

The move comes on the back of Samsung successfully inking a deal with Apple that will see a new iTunes app and AirPlay support come to the company's smart TVs.

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