Google announces new Google Assistant with huge boost to speed
Google has announced the second-generation version of its Google Assistant software, which promises new capabilities, a design overhaul, and a noticeable boost to speed. That last upgrade means the new Assistant can launch and return answers to queries much faster than before. The service is coming first to Pixel phones, and Google made the announcement onstage at its Pixel 4 reveal event in New York City on Tuesday.
We already knew quite a bit about the new Assistant, thanks to Google’s initial reveal back at its I/O developer conference in May, but we also got to see it in action on the Pixel 4 ahead of release, thanks to a flood of leaks that included, among other things, new Assistant marketing videos.
Google claimed in May that the new Assistant would be up to 10 times faster than before, and the marketing videos did indeed show a much speedier version of the software retrieving directions and returning answers to queries. (It’s not clear if that 10x estimation is for all Assistant features or just certain lightweight ones.)
In a demo onstage, we also got to see the new Assistant’s speed, and it looks impressive. It’s able to register follow-up queries and produce results in what feels like no more than a second or two. The presenter also used Assistant without the standard “Hey Google” wake word, but Google hasn’t opened up about whether that’s an intended new feature or just a shortcut taken for the purposes of the demo.
We’ll have more to share later this week when we get our hands on the new devices and Google’s second-generation Assistant.