Google has put out a blog post detailing some changes that the company has made to how apps built for Google Assistant are discovered by users, as well as some tweaks and new APIs that will help developers to craft better experiences for users, and keep users engaged longer and more actively. There are a grand total of 13 new changes across things like the Assistant experience on smartphones, notifications, and the capabilities that developers have access to for Assistant apps and experiences. The entire initiative is aimed at making Assistant a more fulfilling platform for both users and developers.
The changes applied to the app discovery experience include the addition of What's New and What's Trending sections to the Assistant experience on phones, as well as an autocomplete option for the search box, making it easier for users to stumble upon new Assistant software, or rediscover software that they don't quite know the name of. There are also subcategories now, breaking Assistant experiences down into their general categories, and then arranging them by activity type or capability, such as ordering food. Users will also be able to discover apps by asking Assistant to do something that a given app happens to do. Moreover, family-friendly apps will get a special badge, and Google has expanded available languages for developers. As icing on the cake, developers in the UK can now create apps that can perform transactions and integrate with banking.
As far as enhanced Assistant abilities, Google is working on rolling out a potentially game-changing API that can transfer experiences from a speaker, such as Google Home, onto a user's phone. Developers can also use more different tags for SSML, which can make audio experiences richer and more precisely tuned. Developers can also ask a user to link relevant accounts whenever they want, instead of at the beginning of the experience. Finally, developers can pass one more intent to their app when a user goes to exit, allowing the app a chance to say goodbye or do one last thing rather than kicking a user immediately out of the app. As far as re-engagement enhancements, developers can now spoonfeed users a daily digest of app news and content, Assistant apps can now trigger push notifications, and the analytics tool for developers has been updated with more metrics.