Google opens its Home to third party developers

Google announced on Thursday that third party developers will be able to create “Conversation Actions” for its Google Assistant virtual personal assistant (VPA).

The likes of Buzzfeed and NBC News are expected to be amongst the first group of developers that will help to create actions for Google’s Assistant. These actions will let users ask their speaker a question and then have a chat about it. The example Google gave in October was ordering an Uber, then clarifying that you want an Uber XL. Google hopes this kind of dynamic response will help separate Home from other products like Amazon’s Alexa-equipped Echo.

Jason Douglas, PM director for Actions on Google explained the company’s decision to move forward with opening up its API for Google Home: “The Google Assistant brings together all of the technology and smarts we’ve been building for years, from the Knowledge Graph to Natural Language Processing. 

“To be a truly successful Assistant, it should be able to connect users across the apps and services in their lives. This makes enabling an ecosystem where developers can bring diverse and unique services to users through the Google Assistant really important.”

Douglas also explained what the company hopes will make Google Home stand out in the VPA-enabled marketplace: “Conversation Actions let you engage your users to deliver information, services and assistance. 

“And the best part? It really is a conversation – users won’t need to enable a skill or install an app, they can just ask to talk to your action. For now, we’ve provided two developer samples of what’s possible, just say "Ok Google, talk to Number Genie " or try "Ok Google, talk to Eliza.’”

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