Google's Voice Assistant Beats All Rivals

By the end of January, Google expects its virtual voice Assistant to be active on roughly 1 billion devices.

Announced at CES on Monday, Google said the increase would represent nearly 100% growth since May of last year, when its Assistant was installed on about 500 million gadgets.

That easily makes Assistant the most popular virtual voice service on the market. Its closest competitor, Amazon’s Alexa, has 100 million or so users.  

Scott Huffman, vice president, engineering at Google Assistant, attributed the achievement to his team’s focus on adding new features and functions, along with Assistant’s expansion around the world.

“In 2018, the Google Assistant learned to speak new languages … expanded to new regions (Netherlands, Indonesia and Turkey), and became smarter with new features that can help you throughout your day,” Huffman notes in a new blog post.

All together, Google Assistant is now fluent in nearly 30 languages and available in 80 countries -- up from eight languages and 14 countries, last year.



Along with Android smartphones, Google is also selling more devices that support Assistant.

Without providing specific numbers, Huffman said Google Home and Google Home Hub devices sold well throughout this past holiday season.

Additionally, Google Assistant is also now compatible with more than 10,000 smart home devices from over 1,600 third-party brands, which represents an increase of 600%, year-over-year.

By some measures, Google is offering superior consumer experiences, relative to those offered by Amazon and other rivals.

For example, Google Home understands more queries and commands than Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and other smart speakers, according to a recent study by Loup Ventures.

In the study, Google Assistant correctly answered 86% of search queries, while the HomePod correctly answered 75% queries, and Amazon Echo correctly answered 73% queries.
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