The new Google Assistant becomes multilingual, starting with Japanese

Google Assistant at IO 2019
Google Assistant at IO 2019 (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out the new Assistant experience to Japan.
  • This marks the first time it's supported a language that's not English.
  • Motion Sense is also finally rolling out to Japan.

At launch, the new Google Assistant was quite an exclusive affair. Not only was it available on only Google's latest Pixels, but there were also a bunch of other restrictions that prevented most of us from taking it on a test drive. And while many of those restrictions remain — you still need to have enabled gesture navigation (for now), and you still can't be logged into a G Suite account to use it — at least one of those is slowly starting to go away.

Capable only of speaking US English initially, the revamped Google Assistant has finally taken that semester abroad and is on the path to becoming multilingual. Google has been adding support for other dialects of English over the last few months, but today marks the first time it's capable of speaking an altogether new language: Japanese.

The benefits of the new Assistant are multifold. Not only does it do most of its processing locally, resulting in as much as a 10x improvement in performance, it also boasts features like Continued Conversations, which lets you rest your tongue by not having to say "OK, Google" with every single command.

The good news for Japanese Pixel owners doesn't just stop there. Despite a lack of support at launch, Google has also finally brought its Soli-powered 3D gesture navigation platform to the East Asian tiger.

Muhammad Jarir Kanji