Pixel phones will get on-device Google Assistant later this year

Pixel phones that appear later this year will receive a Google Assistant version that can work on the device, allowing it to execute commands up to ten times faster, claims the search giant. In addition, it is more integrated into the interface of the device.

The Assistant no longer needs the internet to understand speech, although the interpretation and retrieval of data will have to be online, says Google. The voice commands appear in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen, next to the pill-shaped home button on Pixel phones. Users can use the Assistant to perform more tasks without touching the phone, such as opening apps, replying to messages, and adding photos to messages. Google demonstrated, among other things, how Assistant correctly interpreted a command with ‘set subject to’ while dictating an email as a command to place certain words in the subject line of an email.

In addition, Google is expanding its Duplex technology. Duplex currently works with calling restaurants for reservations, but will also function as an advanced autofill without speech when the new Duplex On The Web feature is released. The software also fills in data when renting a car or booking cinema tickets. That should make it easier for users to go through reservation sites.

Duplex only works in English so far. It is unknown whether the new feature will also be limited to English. The same applies to the upcoming version of Assistant that works on the device itself.