Google Assistant reaches one billion devices

Google has almost doubled the number of Google Assistant enabled devices over the past year, according to the company, which states that it will soon reach one billion Google Assistant enables devices.

It’s expecting the Google Assistant to be available on one billion devices by the end of this month, Google states in a blog post on Monday, noting that this is up from 500 million devices from May of last year.

The one billion devices quoted by Google encompasses Android smartphones that come with the assistant pre-installed, Google Home speakers and other smart devices that are Google Assistant enabled. Google also stated that the number of active users of the assistant grew four times over the past year.

The now two-year-old assistant was first announced in May of 2016, a clear response to Amazon’s Alexa which was released in 2014. According to a story from The Verge, Amazon claims to have sold more than 100 million Alexa enabled devices.

In the blog post, Google called 2018 another record year for its Google Home devices, stating that millions were sold over the holiday season with its smart display product, the Google Home Hub (which is still not available in Canada) as a top seller.

The assistant which is compatible with 10,000 smart home devices, ranging more than 1,600 brands not only reached a wider audience, but Google also added a number of features to make it smarter.

“We taught the Assistant to speak new languages and understand local cultures,” states the post, also noting that it became available in more countries including the Netherlands, Indonesia and Turkey. It is now available in 80 countries and 30 languages, in comparison to the previous year it was available in eight languages and 14 countries.

Google claims that it also became ‘smarter’ thanks to advances in artificial intelligence that allows Google to create new voices in just a few weeks as well as increasing its ability for natural conversation.

With CES 2019 in full swing in Las Vegas, we are likely to hear more about new Google Assistant enabled devices over the next week.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson is a staff writer for IT World Canada. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she loves sports, travelling, reading and photography, and when not covering tech news she can be found cuddled up on the couch with her cat and a good book.

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