Google Assistant will soon be on a billion devices, and feature phones are next

Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 10/01/2019 15:50

As CES kicks off, Google has a massive presence: monorails, a booth that’s three times larger than last year, and likely a giant pile of news to announce. But ahead of all the actual product news, the company wants to beat its chest a little by announcing some numbers. By the end of the month, it expects that Google Assistant will be on 1 billion devices — up from 500 million this past May.

That’s 900 million more than the number Amazon just gave us for Alexa. But just like Amazon, Google’s number comes with caveats. In an interview with The Verge, Manuel Bronstein, the company’s vice president of Google Assistant, copped to it. “The largest footprint right now is on phones. On Android devices, we have a very very large footprint,” he says. He characterizes the ratio of phones as “the vast majority” of that billion number, but he won’t specify it more than that. Though he does argue that smart speakers and other connected home devices comprise a notable and growing portion.

Also see:

Google Assistant nears 1 billion installs as usage quadruples
People are using Google Assistant a lot more often as it becomes more readily available. By the end of January, Google expects its voice assistant to be running on 1 billion devices, up from 400 million a year ago. Google also says that active users–both monthly and daily–have quadrupled over the last year, though the company won’t say how many people are using Google Assistant regularly.

“This is really showing that the Assistant is available across the devices that really matter to you,” says Nick Fox, Google’s head of product and design for Search and Assistant. “And beyond that, the Assistant is being quite heavily used across these devices as well.”

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