OK Google – are you really needed?
For over a month, Poles have been able to use the Google Assistant in their native language. Its introduction took place gradually – owners of devices with Android had priority, then a separate application for iOS was introduced. We will have to wait for the possibility of operating devices from the Google Home series with the help of the Assistant. How does it work for Polish users? After the initial euphoria, it’s time to look at this innovation with a cool eye.
When Poles got their voice assistant, a massive phase of testing his skills began. The first glitch appeared through the difference in running it on Android and iOS – while on the former it is called from the unlocked screen, on iPhones you first need to run a separate application to start responding. And since you take your phone in your hand for this purpose, you can immediately search for something or turn it on yourself … In addition, iPhones or iPads already have their own assistant built-in, which is part of the system – Siri – so Google Assistant seems even more redundant on devices Apple. Using Siri, you can turn on the Google Assistant without bothering with the application – first call Siri and tell her to “call” him. Absurd, right?
Google Assistant users complain about the lack of the Voice Match function – so it is often called on all devices nearby, and not on one specific one, because it does not recognize the owner’s voice. This happens not only in public places, but even when more than one person is traveling in the car. During the route, this phenomenon can occur quite often, because the Google Assistant is usually used while driving a car, when we cannot enter the location in the navigation ourselves and we ask for help from our smartphone. People also praise it for cooking – when we don’t want to touch the screen with dirty hands to set the timer or check the recipe quickly, the assistant makes it easier for us. Even though we still have to unlock the screen to give a command, it’s still better than having to type the whole query ourselves, with our hands covered in raw dough, for example.
Despite the fun and charming function of telling jokes or poems, the Google Assistant does not seem to be a good conversation companion. Conversation continuity is missing, the tool is “lost” and needs to be called up again, which takes away the naturalness and freedom of using this facility. In addition, people are simply embarrassed to talk on the phone when they are not talking to someone else. Some people – especially older ones – still get interested in someone talking on a Bluetooth headset, and a conversation with a phone from which an obviously mechanical voice comes from would be considered at least a similar level of weirdness. Most users treat the Assistant as a trendy gadget, and since it is readily available, people are still curious about it, but it does not seem to be taken seriously.
It may also be irritating that it will take some time before you can enjoy the compatibility of Google Home devices with the Assistant in Poland. The vision of turning on the speakers, adjusting the temperature of radiators or switching on the light with a voice command thrown into space is very tempting – all the more so thanks to the Google Assistant ad, in which Macaulay Culkin recreates scenes from the iconic “Home Alone”.
Currently, Google Assistant in Poland is still a curiosity. When the ability to unlock the screen with a command is introduced – and this option is already available abroad – the virtual helper will certainly become more useful. In the meantime, while waiting for new features to be added and the Assistant’s services expanded, we can rather play with it (try instead of “OK Google” call “OK bubu” – it works too!) than use it as a functional tool.