Everything that we dreamed of for so long has come true, no, something is too pretentious … In general, the Google Assistant finally spoke in Russian. I will twist my heart if I say that everyone was looking forward to this. In fact, this event turned out to be interesting primarily for technology enthusiasts and geeks, whose share among the bulk of users of devices based on Android is vanishingly small. Maybe for someone it will be a surprise, but many ordinary users of devices based on Android do not even suspect that their smartphones have some kind of Assistant. Despite this, the news is still important and deserves to be told in more detail.
So, a few days ago, users began to unsubscribe in the comments on the Play Market that the assistant spoke in Russian. The name of the application has also changed, and at first it looked funny – 'Google Assistant'. Yes, that's right, with an 'a' at the end. Localization quality at a level unattainable for competitors. ?
The very next day it was corrected, and the application began to bear the proud name 'Google Assistant'. After installation, in the list of applications you will see an icon with the signature 'Assistant', without any 'Google' at the end or at the beginning.
The application itself weighs in at a mere trivia – less than a megabyte – and is downloaded instantly.
After installation, it starts up in the form of a pop-up window, offering to immediately voice a voice command, unobtrusively prompting you to ask a question about what he can do, while carefully listening to you, what the wave-like vibrating colored dots at the bottom of the screen are talking about.
Actually, the assistant is already ready to work. You can start terrorizing him with reasonably clever and not so smart questions.
But this is later, but first, let's go over the main settings of the program, which, by the way, have not changed compared to the times when the Assistant did not know Russian.
There are three icons at the bottom of the screen, these are:
- calling the keyboard when voice input is inconvenient;
- actual activation of voice input;
- icon for accessing the Google Lens service.
The program window can be expanded to full screen by pulling it up from the top edge. After that, you will be taken to an extended history of your calls to the Assistant, as well as to a horizontal list of popular requests from the network.
If you tap on the blue icon in the upper right corner of the window, then you will see an overview of the main functions of the assistant with a search bar in which you can find these same functions. A kind of recursion is search by search. ?
Below in the list there will be popular requests to the assistant from other users, divided into blocks, as well as the ability to view these requests in different categories and expand the history of your actions. Actually, nothing remarkable, except that reading other people's requests can sometimes bring a smile.
When expanded, the blue icon in the upper right corner will change to three dots of the context menu. where you can view information about your account, as well as configure the program. By the way, the settings are often cross, and you can get to the same item in different ways.
Instead of listing the available settings, I bring to your attention screenshots where you can see everything. Let's dwell on only a part of the settings in more detail.
One of these settings is the ability to write a transliterated alias that the program will use to call you. Unusual function.
I would also like to note one unpleasant moment for me – in the section for choosing the main music service with which the Assistant can interact, you cannot select, for example, my favorite Spotify, despite the fact that there is a choice of a third-party application. When you click on the item, nothing happens, and the choice remains limited to Google Play Music and YouTube.
Maybe it's my crooked hands and my phone? Write in the comments if you managed to choose a third-party music service.
In the 'Personal settings' section, there is one curious item, which at the moment, alas, is not available in Russian – 'Continuation of the conversation'. This is the point that allows the application to hear and execute your follow-up questions, which can be asked after answering the main question.
Google Search was able to do something similar before, but for a contextual response, you had to activate the search manually. It also implies that the Assistant will continue listening to questions after answering. It remains only to wait for the function to become available in Russian.
In the 'Phone' section, all the settings related to voice input are unexpectedly awaiting us.
When you click on a part of the settings, the application transfers us to the browser, to the account settings section.
Now let's move on to what we are here for – testing functions that can be performed using voice commands in Russian.
In addition to performing a variety of voice commands, the Assistant, like Google Now, can unlock the device even when the phone screen is off. By the way, during installation, the Assistant replaces this very Google Now.
As someone impressed by the Google advertising presentation in which we were shown how the Assistant signs up his owner to the hairdresser, I also urgently decided to have a haircut (not that much overgrown, just impressionable and easily fall under the influence of marketers).
Alas, it seems that the assistant thinks my current hairstyle is good, since he refused to sign me up for a haircut. The only thing that was achieved from him is a few links to funny videos related to the haircut. Well, nothing, the first failure didn’t break me, and I decided to try my luck again and do it like in advertising.
We ask the Assistant to buy me tickets to the cinema … Yeah, the name of the movie was found, but the tickets are not very good. It seems that the Russian-speaking Assistant is still just learning to become as useful as his transatlantic counterpart, who speaks the dialect of Byron and Shakespeare. Well, we are not proud people – we will wait.
By the way, traditional tasks, such as finding out the weather, getting directions to a certain place, writing a message, and even calling someone, do not cause any difficulties for the Assistant and are easy and effortless. But this is rather the merit of the previous service (Google Now), the successor and ideological successor of which is the Assistant.
But this is all trivial and boring application functions that most people don't really need. ?
Let's try what most people download the Assistant for – chat with an electronic friend about free topics and find out who is better at 'conversations', Alice, Siri or the Assistant.
Eh, if the function of continuing the conversation worked …
And so the answers of a soulless machine to unexpected questions turned out to be just as soulless. Well, judge for yourself, what a miracle, to answer a cliché to a question about a competitor.
In the process of all this disgrace, there was only one moment when there was a slight feeling that the machine also knows how to joke – when, after my prompting, the Assistant first answered something about the breaks at the ants, and at the next request moved the balls and did not open anything – really and really offended? Maybe just a coincidence and the command didn't work, but it turned out interesting.
In general, from the point of view of 'just chatting', the Assistant is much more boring than the same Alice and even Siri. His humor and 'freedom of thought' is enough for a few banal jokes and pre-recorded answers, without a twist. So this is primarily a tool and only a little entertainment.
The first phrase that appears in my head after meeting a Russian-speaking Assistant is high expectations.
During the earlier presentation of the new functions of the English-language Assistant, everything looked so impressive that it made the Russian part of journalists and ordinary viewers sit with their mouths open and literally crave the launch of these miracles in Russian. However, today for the Russian-speaking user, most of these technological wonders are still inaccessible. Moreover, the most interesting and expected functions remain unavailable, for example, when typing a message, the Assistant still does not know how to place punctuation marks. In fact, the launch of the Assistant in Russian turned out to be loud only on paper, and the Russian user received absolutely nothing new that Google Now could not do. It remains to be hoped that Google still sees prospects in the Russian market for launching full-fledged versions of their services and in the near future will add support for all wow tools in Russian.