The latest update for the Google Assistant allows the voice-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) companion to read text messages and even interact with their contents. Users running the beta build 6.14 of the Google app are reporting that the feature is live on their end, though the same functionality is likely also rolling out to people running the latest stable build, i.e. version 6.13. With this new addition, you can tell the Google Assistant to read or show you your messages using a variety of voice commands. You can ask the voice-enabled companion whether you have any unread messages or simply tell it to open your messaging app. The assistant can also be told to open your last conversation, users report.
The new functionality is seemingly working with the majority of popular messaging apps and should be compatible with your default messaging solution as some users have already confirmed that the Google Assistant is able to access Hangouts and Facebook's Messenger. However, using this functionality in conjunction with the Android Messages app shows that the Google Assistant still isn't able to differentiate between messages based on whether they've been read or not in all apps. On the bright side, the rest of the feature works as expected as your digital companion is able to read the contents of your messages and the names of their senders out loud and provide you with a quick way to reply to them. Unfortunately, Google's voice-enabled digital helper still isn't able to read notifications, but that functionality will hopefully be added sooner rather than later.
The ability to access messages and interact with their contents has been one of the most requested features among users of the Google Assistant. This latest inclusion coincides with Google's recently started efforts to bring its digital companion to more devices. The Mountain View-based tech giant previously revealed that its AI assistant will soon be making its way to compatible devices running Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat. The rollout already started in the United States while the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia are expected to be added to the list of supported countries soon. Owners of compatible devices in Germany are also scheduled to receive the Google Assistant with an upcoming Google Play Services update in the coming weeks.