Google Assistant on smartphones got a bit of a facelift not too long ago, and now it's happening again. This time around, the change comes in the form of a bigger overhaul that features more content than before.
The new look for Assistant expands cards to add more visual content, including more links, images, charts, and figures, depending on exactly what sort of content a user may be looking for. On top of that, many of the different features within the Assistant interface, such as Categories, will be getting a new look that makes them easier to access. Finally, there will be changes to the menus that give users easy access to a wider variety of tools at all times, including a bubble level and a calculator, among others.
The new interface seeks to provide more coverage for any sort of content a user may be seeking with their specific call to action. For example, certain questions, such as those about news topics, or somewhat general stuff, may be answered with multiple links from different sources now. This provides more objective coverage and a better chance of finding desired information or content in contrast to the old way, which is essentially like having Assistant push the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button for you.
Those looking to find pictures will be pleasantly surprised by the new interface for queries that may end up surfacing photos. These cards now show more images in a focused, result-oriented format that clings closer to what a user may be looking for by indicating what content in the query pulled those images. Stock charts and other content-related queries will now show that content in a revamped format that shows more web results without compromising on the front-page content that users can view at a glance.
Like most universal updates to Google products, this change is going on a slow rollout. Though Google didn't state as much in its blog post, it's quite likely that users with well-updated Android phones, such as Pixel users, will be seeing this change sooner. Being a Google Assistant change, of course, it will eventually make its way to all Google Assistant-enabled smartphones.
The change may be skipping tablets, Chromebooks, and other larger-display devices, since they already have enough screen real estate to display plenty of content for Assistant queries without anything needing to be optimized or moved around. That's another thing Google didn't mention, though, so it's quite possible that this change will manifest in some way outside of the smartphone space.
Each of the major AI assistant programs on the market are expanding in different directions. While Amazon is pushing for Alexa to pick up more Skills and learn to do more things, Apple is integrating heavy AI capabilities into Siri, and Samsung is banking on tying Bixby seamlessly into its ecosystem. Google Assistant, meanwhile, seeks to be user-friendly and comprehensive, all while doing more out of the box. It's not hard to see that Google Assistant is going for mass appeal and ease of use, and continued changes in the vein of this one will help in that goal.