Virtual assistants have offered us a powerful artificial intelligence in the palm of our hands, allowing our smartphone to anticipate our whims, offer contextual suggestions, and help us organize our day. While the original player on the smartphone scene in terms of a virtual assistant was Siri, the market has since expanded – with options like Google Assistant and Samsung’s Bixby offering their own intelligence to Android users that mirror the effectiveness of Apple’s Siri. There’s always room for improvement when it comes to virtual AI, and Google Assistant is getting a bit of an upgrade with the addition of Hindi as a language with which it can understand and communicate.
The announcement of the expansion of the Google Assistant language capabilities came at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, with news that the functionality would be expanded with 30 new languages over the next couple of months. Just recently, Google India announced that the utility is now proficient in Hindi.
Although this is good news for Google Assistant users who would like to communicate in Hindi, this actually isn’t the first time we’ve seen the service’s functionality expanded to include the language. Several months ago, Google worked with local Indian carrier Jio to bring an assistant that spoke both Hindi and English to a feature phone. The device was relatively unique, in that it only cost $23 for a year contract – at the end of which it would have to be returned. We also received word last month that Google Assistant was already capable of understanding Hindi, but that there were some issues that needed to be ironed out for it to be a complete version like the one that is now available.
How To Get Started
All you need to do to get your hands on the Google Assistant and start communicating in Hindi is to change your device settings to the language. Just like the English version, the Hindi Google Assistant seems to be able to support commands like setting alarms, answering questions, sending texts, and even pulling up sports scores. Currently, the Google Assistant Hindi functionality works on Android 6.0+, Allo, and will soon be expanded to Android systems dating back to Android 5.0, Android Oreo, and even iOS.
Tailored To India
In a recent blog post, Google expanded on how exactly the Google Assistant caters to Indian users.
“The Google Assistant lets you have a conversation with Google to help you get things done in your world — from telling you about your day, to finding the fastest route to work, or just setting an alarm for the next day — all in Hindi. To try it out, just touch and hold the Home button or say “Ok Google” on eligible smartphones and your personal Google Assistant will be ready to help you throughout your day. Even when your hands are full, you can quickly send text messages, set reminders, or get directions with the Google Assistant.”
“The Google Assistant is truly Indian, it’s your helpful dost that speaks our language and understands the things you care about, from finding biryani recipes, to pulling up the latest cricket score, or finding directions to the nearest ATM. In order to make it even more useful to Indians over time, developers and businesses can now build Actions for the Hindi Assistant through the developer platform Actions on Google. Once an action is built, you can just say “Ok Google, talk to…” and access the service or content straight through your Google Assistant.”
Now that we have our hands on the Hindi version of this excellent utility, it will be interesting to put it through its paces to see if the functionality matches up with the original English version. As mentioned above, just set your device language to Hindi and experience the magic of Google Assistant in your preferred language.