A year ago yesterday, Google announced that it was ending support for third-party Assistant voice apps, including games, and this is now underway on the Nest Hub.
Those experiences were known as Conversational Actions and launched with “Hey Google, talk to [app/service]” commands that you could issue to most Assistant devices. Later, Google expanded that concept to better support Smart Displays to allow for apps and games that accept both voice and touch input. This also made possible trivia puzzles and picture books.
Citing a lack of usage for the initial method that let third-parties build for Assistant, Google pulled the plug last June and gave a one year wind down period, with Nest Hubs telling users that was the case since April.
That’s now underway, with users encountering the loss of those third-party experiences, while the “Games” tab on the Nest Hub has been removed.
Grocery apps are one particular voice app category on the Nest Hub that’s being impacted by this deprecation, with OurGroceries being one example. Similarly, Assistant’s 3rd-party Notes & Lists integration (Any.do, AnyList, and Bring Shopping Lists) is shutting down this month. This is because it was built on the same Conversational Actions platform.
However, the company tells us that using Google Keep to interact with shopping lists by voice will remain possible.
Looking ahead, Google is focusing on having Android apps add voice capabilities. This applies to phones, tablets, Wear OS, Google/Android TV, and Android Auto/Automotive. In that regard, affected users might be able to issue similar commands to Android phones.
Google says the following Assistant experiences won’t be impacted by this deprecation:
- Answering questions
- Playing music and videos
- Smart home control
- Launching and controlling Android apps
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