Google Assistant launched for JioPhone, will replace existing voice assistant via an OTA update

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 5 Dec 2017
Google Assistant launched for JioPhone, will replace existing voice assistant via an OTA update
  • Google Assistant on the JioPhone will be able to make calls, read texts, open apps and search the web. However, it will not support the new Actions feature.

Google has designed a special version of the Google Assistant meant for the JioPhone. The company demoed the Assistant at its Google for India event today, making the JioPhone the first feature phone to get Google Assistant. One of the main tweaks made is that the Assistant now recognises Hindi voice input, which makes sense for the JioPhone's consumer base. It should be noted that the JioPhone runs on KaiOS.

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In the demo, Google showed the Assistant responding to commands in Hindi and displayed recipes, songs, and sent text messages. The Assistant on JioPhone can recognise and respond in English and Hindi.

Google also announced that Actions are rolling out to Assistant now. This is similar to the "Skills" feature on Amazon's Alexa, which allows it to tie-up with third-party apps and services. One of the first Actions will be from Book My Show, which has built a Trivia feature for the Google Assistant. It's worth noting that the Actions feature will not be available on the JioPhone. On that phone, the AI will only open apps, search the phone, send texts, make calls, lay songs, read recipes etc.

The Assistant is available in English and Hindi on the JioPhone for now and will be replacing the Jio Voice app on that device. While there is no set date for its rollout, Jio users should expect an OTA update bringing the Assistant to the smart feature phone soon.

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