Do you have any idea of what is coming into your life? Listening to news and weather forecast, taking note of the next appointment, sending an email, listening to the music on your playlist; all of these can be done while you were enjoying your delicious sandwich…which means, without even having to touch your devices!

Sounds too good to be true?

Some are already anticipating this sort of technological convenience in their life. The anticipation, however, has officially ended as the voice-based artificial intelligence already turns into a reality.

The newest technology we cannot stop raving about is the Google Assistant; a voice-controlled smart assistant invented by Google.

The release announcement came in May 2016 at the Google I/O developer conference at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, US by none other than Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google. 

On October 4, 2016, Google Pixel was the first-ever mobile phone to use it. No, you did not misread that. The technology can easily be accessed via phones and tablets! 

To access Google Assistant is simple enough. What you need are:

  1. Phone or Tablet with Android version 5.0 and above
  2. Google App version 6.13 and above
  3. Google Play Services
  4.  1.0 GB of memory 

To turn on the Google Assistant is even much simpler. For Google Pixel, all you need to do is hold the home button and say “Hey Google”or “OK Google”. With that simple phrase, the Google Assistant has now been turned on!

Now, for other  Android devices, all you have to do is go to Google App, click on the Settings, search for the item Google Assistant and simply turn it on.

 

Productivity

Google is one of the top search engines in the world. And, it has also turned into a verb on its own. Have you ever wondered though, why Google is so popular in our time?

More than merely functioning as a search engine, Google integration with Android phone enables it to collaborate and connect with the community effectively especially in producing the much-awaited Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology.

Still doubtful of its relevance in your daily life? Here are among the productivity features available on Google Assistant that can make your life better:

1) Good Morning Routine

You just woke up, still groggy from last night’s sleep. You need updates on news, weather, appointment or any meeting waiting for you before heading to work. Too bad, your eyes still could not quite focus on your device.

Don’t even bother opening your eyes as only by uttering the phrase “Good morning” (with your eyes still shut) to your Google Assistant, all of the important start-of-the-day information will automatically be conveyed to you!

You don’t even have to ask and check for every single item on the list, Google Assistant already know what you need. 

 

 

2) Take Selfies

Big fan of taking selfies? Need a perfect shot for your Instagram post yet too shy to ask strangers to take your photos for you? Google Assistant is perfectly built to perform this task and the need for you to have an Instagram boyfriend can be turned into merely a want.

All you have to do is utter the magic words, “OK Google, take a selfie”.

This simple phrase will immediately launch the camera app and automatically starts the countdown for a selfie.

Oh, don’t forget to smile! 

 

3) Manage Shopping List

Sure, shopping is great fun – minus the guilt of coming back from it buying the things you don’t quite need and forgetting to buy things that you actually need. This can be prevented by preparing your shopping list beforehand, but who has time for that? 

This is when Google Assistant comes in handy. It can assist you in managing the shopping list without you having to even lift a finger. All you need to do is say, “OK Google, add X to my shopping list” (X refers to the item name). Quite simply, the item will then be added to your shopping list!

To list out the item again, – maybe for you to have a quick check on your readied list, just say “OK Google, What’s on my shopping list?”.

Google Assistant will then give you a preview of your entire shopping list and voila! You can start your guilt-less shopping right away.

 

Fun

After staring at Excel forms all day long, no one could deny you of a bit of fun after work. However, you do feel that you are a tad too old for another round of DOTA on your PC.

You crave for something fun and yet, somehow, still stimulating for your brain. With Google Assistant, playing fun games with educational content is available only at the sound of your voice. 

You will be in awe looking at the games provided by Google Assistant especially for you:

 

1) Trivia

Remember “Who Wants to Be a Billionaire”? No, I don’t mean the fantasy you are having since you started your banking career. I am talking about the ever-famous game show which tested contestants with multi-disciplinary and sometimes almost odd questions.

What Google Assistant offers is very exciting as the game you will be playing is similar to the environment as you have previously seen on TV.

To play this game, just say “OK Google, let’s play a game” and then choose “Lucky Trivia”. You can ask Google Assistant to repeat the question that involves having to hear any sound like finger cymbal, a steel tongue drum etc.

Still unable to be among the top 1% and achieve that millionaire status? Don’t give up that easily! You can repeatedly try your luck as Google Assistant will ask you whether or not you want to repeat the game right after the session ends. Until you reach that millionaire status, you should answer, “Yes, of course!” 

 

2) Songpop

You have heard all too many songs in your life you could become a composer yourself.

For that, this game can promise you great fun. Songpop allows you to guess the right song title from your favourite genre by stating it to Google Assistant and it will give you a sound clip sample either in the chorus or the intro part.

You will then guess the song title based on the five questions posted by Google Assistant. The game can be repeated and you can try other available genres too. 

3) Colour Quiz

There are so many colours that exist in the world and we may take this fact for granted. However, it is worth questioning whether each colour, in all its splendor possesses its own meaning? Does it have any significant information attached to it?

This game is straightforward and simple enough and yet, very much intriguing to an inquisitive mind. The game provides a colour sample and the player will have to guess the colour. Right after that, facts about the particular colour chosen will be presented to you and elaborated by Google Assistant.

You will not be looking at colours around you the same again after playing this game. That much I can guarantee.

 

4) Decision Maker

Sometimes, the simplest help is the most valuable. When you reach a seemingly impossible decision, all you need to do is call upon the Assistant’s infinite wisdom. Ask it to flip a coin, roll a dice, or give you a random number.

In case you are feeling really lucky (or wanting to go crazy), say, “Crystal Ball” and leave your fate entirely in Google’s hands.

ifttt.com/google_assistant#

As part of the digital trend, we have various social media platforms and applications which all of those require an account for each. It will be much efficient for us if they all can be connected on one, single platform. This is when the IFTTT comes in handy.

What does IFTTT stand for? The meaning of this abbreviation is, If This, Then That, with cadence pronounced like the word “gift”, a concept already learned in a primary school to understand mathematical proofs. The logic does not only apply to mathematical rule, but we also apply it in our everyday life.

For example, “if it is winter outside, then I have to wear my jacket” or “if the traffic signal shows red, then I have to stop”. These examples show how we, as people, make decisions based on the situations faced.

IFTTT is a website that enables the performance of other tricks via applets, – meaning a small application that performs single or a few functions. The trick here is that, when a user gives a simple command (recipes), some of the devices or other services will be triggered as well.

This website contains various integrations services (recipes). The services in IFTTT are free of charge. It requires a straightforward process of signing up either by dropping up your email, username and password or you can also sign in via Facebook or Google email.

The most exciting thing about this website is that it is able to create your own applet. This means you can use this applet to synchronise Facebook with Google Assistant, or you can also automatically upload your Instagram photos to your Facebook page Album.

For more information on how to create your own applet, click here. Below are examples of the services provided that might interest you: 

 

1) Post to Twitter

With this technology,  you no longer need to write down and post on your Twitter account. IFTTT enables you to send status via your own voice by using Google Assistant.

All you need to is verbalize the instruction, “Hey Google, tweet I’m going for a holiday”. Google Assistant will process the instruction and post “I’m going for a holiday” on your timeline.

Easy right?

 

2) Log Notes in Google Drive Spreadsheet

Some of us just write every note that we jotted down or just use a voice recorder in order for us to look back at the note. Have you ever thought that notes can also be jotted down using your voice?

With this feature, the user only needs to utter, “OK Google, take a note…” and Google Assistant will take note of the things you say right after the phrase. Moreover, it will also automatically add the jotted note to Google Drive Spreadsheet.

 

3) Google Assistant GPS Navigation (works with Android)

You are running out of fuel and want to know the nearest petrol station, or you might be feeling hungry but running out of time. In whichever situation that you are facing, Google Assistant will help you find the best routes to fulfil your needs.

All you have to do is speak to Google Assistant the phrase, “OK Google, send directions to the nearest petrol station” or “OK Google, send directions to the nearest restaurant”. Google Maps will immediately be opened on your phone and the navigation will direct to the place you stated before.

The speech recognition and the ability to perform simple tasks by Google Assistant are among the first steps towards embracing fully the Artificial Intelligence Technology.

At the moment, Google Assistant have limited functionalities for its multiple users where only the English version is provided. It is hoped that in the near future, Google Assistant can support more languages to cater to its diverse users.


References:
1. https://ifttt.com/google_assistant#
2. https://support.google.com/assistant/answer/7172657?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en
3. https://www.computerworld.com/article/3255009/mobile-wireless/28-ways-google-assistant-can-make-you-more-efficient.html
4. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/what-is-ifttt-and-how-does-it-work/
5. https://www.computerworld.com/article/3239304/mobile-wireless/what-is-ifttt-how-to-use-if-this-then-that-services.html
6. https://www.techhive.com/article/2044579/home-tech/how-to-use-ifttt-to-automate-your-online-life.html
7. https://lifehacker.com/the-beginners-guide-to-ifttt-1819624556