Google Assistant will get support for Routines ‘in the coming weeks’

Today’s Google Assistant is much, much more capable than the version that first debuted on the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Don’t expect that progress to slow anytime soon, either: Google laid out some new plans to improve the Assistant just in time for Mobile World Congress, and they extend far beyond just teaching it more languages.

Most importantly, Google confirmed it has been working with smartphone makers on ways to weave Assistant more elegantly into our smartphones. That work is being formalized in the new Assistant Mobile OEM program, and Google’s list of accomplishments with its partners is nothing to sneeze at: it helped make Assistant compatible with certain kinds of mobile AI coprocessor and worked to make sure devices can listen for the right wake-words even when their screens are off. It won’t be long before you start to see device-specific Google Assistant commands, either — LG touted a list of 23 new commands for its updated V30, and Google also cited close working relationships with companies like Sony and Xiaomi.

Google Assistant is also finally getting support for Routines, a feature first announced last year. Long story short, you’ll be able to string together multiple actions with a single command; saying “OK Google, goodnight,” for instance, could dim your Philips lights, dial down the temperature on your Nest thermostat and lower the volume on your Google Home Max. Routine support is expected to go live within the next few weeks, as will location-based reminders through Assistant-powered speakers. (Yes, you could do this through a phone already, but parity between different flavors of Google Assistant is always a good thing.