Google Devices

New Google Assistant Feature Speeds Up Voice Assistant

Google is rolling out a new feature to boost Google Assistant’s response time by removing unused devices connected to an account. The option on the Google Home app has been quietly spreading as a way of cleaning up an account’s device list, as first shared on Twitter by Android analyst Mishaal Rahma.

Google Assistant Speed

As Google Assistant users upgrade and expand their ecosystem of devices and connect them to their Google account, the list of potential sources for the voice assistant can become unwieldy. A big enough list might even perceptibly slow how fast the voice assistant responds to a request because of the need to sort through all of the connected devices. The new feature lets users remove unused devices from that list to lighten the load on the AI. Unused in this instance refers to devices that have not been activated in at least three months. The feature is not universal yet but can be checked for on the Google Home app by tapping the profile avatar, opening Assistant settings, and then tapping Devices to see the list of connected devices. At the bottom of the list will be the option to show the devices that haven’t been activated in a while, which can then be selected individually or as a group and removed from the list.

Evolving Smart Homes

Google Assistant should become a little bit faster if the list is long enough and a lot of hardware is removed from the list, according to Google. Deleted devices will be factory reset by the process, too, should they happen to power on again. That’s a benefit Google may be eager to tout as their smart ecosystem grows more complex and developers enhance the software integrating available devices. Some of the new features for developers unveiled last year might significantly benefit from a cleaned-up device list.

For instance, the Capabilities API, which lets developers support more frequently invoked tasks by defining the intent using a catalog compiled by Google, is based on rapid response to frequently invoked commands. Once in place, users can activate an Android app by voice and have it immediately dive into a particular activity. Someone with the Snapchat app on Android could ask Google Assistant to send a pic with a defined filter, and the app would open, pull up the filter, take a picture, and send it along all in one go. The same goes for the Google Shortcuts Integration library, which picks out shortcuts from the Shortcuts Jetpack Module and sets them up for voice commands. The real question is how noticeable the sped-up Google Assistant will be and if it will affect how and when people invoke the voice assistant.


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