Shiny new hardware like the Galaxy S9, LG V30S, and other handsets will be the stars of the show during MWC next week, but those aren't the only things we'll be keeping an eye out for. A few days before the trade show gets underway, Google's announced a heap of new goodies that are coming to the Google Assistant throughout the year.
Perhaps the most important announcement is the Assistant's expansion to even more languages. Google says the Assistant will support 30 new languages by the end of 2018, including Hindi, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Indonesian, Thai, and Swedish. On that same note, the Google Assistant is also becoming multilingual later in the year. This will allow users to fluently speak to the Assistant in multiple languages on the fly, and it'll first work with English, German, and French.
Google will also be using 2018 to double-down on its Assistant Mobile OEM program. The purpose of this is to allow manufacturers to create better integrations with the Assistant into their phones, including things like device-specific commands and ensuring the Assistant responds even when your phone's screen is off. Perhaps more exciting, Google notes that "we'll also have new integrations from LG, Sony Mobile and Xiaomi."
Routines will combine multiple actions into just one command.
As for user-facing changes, there are a couple big things in the works. You can currently set location-based reminders on your phone with the Assistant, but in the next few weeks, you'll be able to do the same with a smart speaker like Google Home. For example, you can say something like, "Ok, Google, remind me to buy eggs at Walmart", and then get a reminder on your phone when you arrive at the store.
The coming weeks will also see the launch of Routines in the United States. Google first announced Routines last year, and they'll allow you to perform multiple actions with just one command. Six Routines will be available at first, and one will allow you to say "Ok, Google, I'm Home" to turn on your lights, hear any reminders you have, and start playing music.