Google Assistant Interpreter Mode - Hands On at CES 2019

Posted January 10, 2019

At CES 2019 today, the company announced that it is rolling out a new update to Google Maps for Android and iOS that introduces Assistant integration. Since Google Maps already calculates your estimated time of arrival when you're driving, the Assistant now lets you text that arrival time to others, at least if you're using an Android device.

Background: This isn't Google's first go at real-time translation.

Another time-saver coming to Google Assistant will be the ability to check into an upcoming flight with the virtual assistant's help.

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In the next few days, Google will make the functionality available on Android and Apple devices, though Apple users will need to download the Google Assistant mobile app. "Just say "Hey Google, be my French interpreter" to start "Interpreter Mode" and get real-time spoken and (on Smart Displays) written translation to aid the conversation", Manuel Bronstein, Vice President of Product, Google Assistant, wrote in a blog post late on Tuesday.

Using the mode is simple: users will just say, "Hey Google, be my [language] interpreter", which will prompt Google Assistant to begin listening to the conversation.

"On Android, the Assistant works with messaging services from the following providers: SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Hangouts, Viber, Telegram, Android Messages and more", reads an excerpt from the same January 8th media release. It uses the existing smart home platform to expand to new device types.

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"This is native integration with Google Assistant itself; it should be a lot more seamless, a lot faster", Lacey said. The Google Assistant is smart enough to understand the context and the whole experience was very slick. Additionally, Google Assistant will also alert if your flight is ready for Web check-in.

Plus, Google Assistant will help you book your hotel room in the USA too. Domestic passengers in the USA can say, "Hey Google, check in to my flight" on Android or iOS and Assistant will take care of the necessary steps. "We're also adding support for Google Keep, Any.do, Bring! and Todoist, when you want to keep track of your itinerary with notes and lists in the Google Assistant", Google said.

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