EU regulators just sentenced Google to pay a record-breaking €4.3 billion ($5 billion) fine for Android antitrust violations, in their attempt to force the tech giant to stop the ‘illegal tying of Google’s search and browser apps”.
What consequences this will have on this week’s launch of Google Assistant we’ll see, but without doubt the tool is absolutely zeitgeisty. Because, with so many tasks screaming for our attention, we appreciate any help to keep track of things and get updates and reminders constantly.
Considering that the European Commission pointed out that “since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search”, therefore investigating Google closely, let’s hope that the Assistant is legally compliant in all ranks and isn’t sparking again reasonable suspicion that Google is abusing its market dominance in software that runs on smartphones.
Just a year ago, the Commission fined Google €2.42 billion for abusing its dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to Google's own comparison shopping service, which is why is currently still actively monitoring Google's compliance with that decision. Of course, Google’s appeal is expected to enthrall the industry for years with such a huge fine on the line.
Anyway, the new visual snapshot will be available on Android and iOS devices in all languages supported by the Google Assistant, and will provide curated, helpful information based on the time of day, location, and your recent interactions with the Assistant. Besides that, it provides traffic information, and even a quick glance of your agenda, reminders and suggestions for new and trending actions.
And who wouldn’t mind getting the convenience to prepare travel times well, so you know when to hit the road whether you’re getting ready for work, a lunch meeting, or heading home for the night. The same applies to tracking your agenda, reminders, restaurant or movie reservations, your favorite stocks, upcoming bills, packages in transit, and suggestions for new and trending actions. The Google Assistant will send proactive notifications to provide you important updates on your upcoming events such as upcoming bills, or even an alert of a flight delay - always available, by our side, ready to help whenever you need it.
Google said it plans to continue adding more useful features to the snapshot over time, such as an overview of your notes and lists from Google Keep, Any.do, Bring!, Todoist and others, a new discovery section to help you find activities nearby, reminders on where you parked, personalized recommendations for music and podcasts, and much more.
By the way, you can access the new experience by tapping on the new icon in the top right corner of the screen after you’ve activated your Google Assistant, or access these personal updates from the Google app by clicking on the same icon. In the coming months, you’ll be able to jump into this snapshot after you’ve activated the Assistant by swiping up on the screen. If you have an iOS device, your personal updates will be shown as soon as you open the Google Assistant app.
By Daniela La Marca