Google announced back at I/O 2018 that Google Assistant was on 500 million devices, and the search giant is now projecting that its digital assistant will hit the one billion landmark by the end of January. The news comes just a few days after Amazon revealed that it sold over 100 million devices with Alexa.
Assistant usage increased by four times over the course of the year, and a large part of that has to do with its global expansion. Assistant's language capabilities were significantly expanded over the course of the year, with the service now available in nearly 30 languages and 80 countries — up from eight languages and 14 countries a year ago.
Crucially, Google also enabled multilingual support, with Assistant now able to speak more than one language at a time. Google also rolled out eight new voices for Assistant, including British and Australian accents.
Google provided broad sales figures for its Google Home family of devices, stating that millions of units were sold this holiday season. One out of seven sales was a smart display, which showcases just how popular devices like the Lenovo Smart Display and the Google Home Hub are turning out to be.
In addition to healthy sales figures, Google is touting a massive 600% increase in compatibility with smart home devices, with the service now supporting nearly 10,000 devices from 1,600 brands. With CES kicking off in earnest later this week, Google says it will unveil "even more ways the Assistant can help you at home, in the car and on the go."
From the Editor's Desk: Navigating the Chromebook crunch of 2020
Chromebooks are wonderful little laptops for a great many people, but they're especially well-suited to children. Now if only retailers could keep them in stock this back-to-school season.
Here's every U.S. city with 5G coverage right now
5G deployment is moving fast and the list of cities with coverage is growing all the time. See if your U.S. city has coverage yet by Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T.
It's time to stop using SMS for two-factor authentication
Not all 2FA is equal. Using SMS to get a code might not be "better than nothing" after all.
The best smart locks that support Google Assistant
Smart locks are great tools for keeping your home safe, and if you've got a Google Assistant speaker, these ones can be controlled by just using your voice.