9to5Google, which performed a teardown on the latest Google app, found a string in the app that reads “Have your Assistant do multiple things with just one command. Use ready-made routines you adjust to fit your day, and create custom ones from scratch.” As of now, the search giant has not come up with any timeline for the release of the custom routines.
The upcoming feature would allow the user to guide Google Assistant on the specific command to use and actions to perform when it hears the magic words. For instance, a command like “movie night” would prompt the assistant to dim the lights and warm the home.
The beta version of the app also suggests that users can keep track of all the important match scores without asking the assistant every time or find the relevant info card. Further, other codes in the app suggest how the gestures for Pixel Buds works, such as a double tap command could perform functions other than checking the notifications or triple tap could be used for manual control. The user would also be able to turn off the Pixel Buds just by removing the right-side earpiece.
The upcoming version of the app would also have merged the search field and toolbar search with categories such as News and Image appearing as a dropdown to the left. Also, tools such as duration and time have been relocated to the unused space under the search bar. The teardown also revealed some “searchbox effects,” wherein a quick search box is located at the bottom of the Pixel launcher. As of now, there is little insight into how the new effects would look due to size limitations, but currently, the Pixel launcher cannot display Google doodles.
At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, the search giant announced that the Google Assistant would have multilingual support. However, the teardown does not reveal any such support as of now with the smart display supporting just one language.
Google Assistant Routines was launched a couple of weeks back with the first wave of routines such as Good Morning, Leaving Home, Bedtime, Commuting to work, I’m home, and Commuting Home. Commuting routines can be accessed only from the phone as most likely the users would be on their way while using these routines. Routines can register and respond to multiple unique voices.
In a separate development, the search giant is reportedly working on developing its own blockchain technology to boost its cloud business and lock horns with the emerging startups, which have already deployed the aforementioned technology in unique ways, says Bloomberg citing sources familiar with the matter. Companies are increasingly recording transactions and processing other data over the internet with the help of blockchain technology. Google could use the same technology to reassure customers that their information is protected when loaded on its servers.
The tech giant is also working on its own distributed digital ledger that can be used by third parties to post and verify the transactions, the report notes. When the technology would be rolled out is not known, but the company is determined to differentiate the cloud service offerings from the competitors. According to the sources, the company could also provide a white-label version that other companies can run on their own servers.
Meanwhile last week, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce, acknowledged that the company was researching the technology, but no official product announcement has been made. “This is a research topic, so I don’t have anything super-definitive to say. We have a small team that is looking at it. The core blockchain technology is not something that is super-scalable in terms of the sheer number of transactions it can run,” Ramaswamy said at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London.
Ramaswamy stated that blockchain could optimally be used in “frictionless” transfer of money, and can have an amazing effect on society as moving money is harder. He added that in most of the Western countries, it costs somewhere near 2% to transfer money.
Google is not the only tech biggie taking an interest in the blockchain technology. Just last month, Microsoft revealed its intention of using blockchain technology as a potential tool to manage identities and personal data digitally. Other than offering the Microsoft authenticator app, the company also unveiled Ethereum Blockchain-as-a-service on Azure. IBM is another big name working towards bringing blockchain mainstream, and recently announced the world’s smallest computer for blockchain technology at IBM Think 2018.