This week, Google Home has an additional 10 actions (or Skills, if you are used to the Alexa descriptions) that have been added, bringing its total up close to 80 total.
For the development channels to have only been open for 2 months, this is impressive. To keep things in context, however, keep in mind that Amazon’s Alexa has almost 100 times that amount.
Google has a long way to go. But it is getting there, and that is the encouraging part.
This race won’t be won in a few months, but over the course of a few years. Eerily similar to the smartphone’s rise to public consciousness a decade ago, there is room for multiple players and time for them to rise to the top.
The App Wars
All this, to me, is very reminiscent of the early app days when Apple and Google were building out their fledgling app ecosystems.
A few times a week, it seemed, we were hit with a new list of app launches. Some good, some great, some worthless: but all encouraging as we watched our ecosystem of choice grow.
The same feelings apply here and now with voice-controlled AI. You may be excited by Google Home or you might find yourself a long-time user of Alexa.
In either scenario, competition breeds advancement. Competition is and always will be a positive thing.
What’s Been Added
With that in mind, here’s what’s been added to the growing Google Home Actions list:
- My Wine Guide
- Dr. Doggy
- Smart Voice
- Music Ear Trainer
- Spelling Master
- The Magic Door
- London Tube
- Prague Public Transport
- Izzy The Islander
As I said above, some good, some great, and some seemingly worthless. I’ll let you decide that, but I want to run down a bit on what some of these are.
My Wine Guide – Imagine having your own, personal wine guide (or sommelier if you are fancy) around all the time. This action allows Google Home to help you pair just the right wine with your dinner.
Dr. Doggy – Just like it sounds, Dr. Doggy aims to be an AI vet, giving you peace of mind if your dog eats something unsavory and you are concerned for his/her health.
Autovoice – Similar to IFTT, Autovoice gives you custom abilities to do things like make phone calls, check your push notifications, send chat messages, or track packages.
Smart Voice – This is simply an extension of controls for your Internet of Things devices around the house. Lights, AC, garage door, cameras, etc.
The Magic Door – An already-popular game on Amazon’s Alexa, this game now makes its way over to Google Home.
Details are a bit scant on the others, but for those who use those services, more details will likely rise very soon.
What we can take from this is Google Home is growing up, and the pace is encouraging. The more these devices can do via voice command, the more likely they are to actually stick around.
If developers continue to leverage their power, there’s no telling what these devices will be capable of in the next year or so.