This year, we’re seeing Google take on the likes of Amazon, Siri and Microsoft in the personal assistant category with Google Assistant. The company will begin shipping out Google Home pre-orders within the next week, but the service won’t be as powerful as its competition if it doesn’t support a wide range of 3rd-party products and services. Many will be happy to use it for asking Google questions and interacting with Google services, but it will need more if it wants to be successful.
We’ve watched as Amazon has continually supported their Alexa personal assistant ever since the Echo was launched in November of 2014. 3rd-party developers are embedding the service into their own products (which is what Google is hoping for as well), and earlier this year they announced Alexa had over 1,000 skills. Amazon has even announced a year-long Alexa hackathon, and will be putting up a record-breaking $2.5 million purse for it.
So it’s clear that Amazon is very dedicated to making Alexa work with as many services and connected devices as possible. This is why it was so surprising when Google announced the only products Google Home had support for was Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings, as well as “given” ones like Nest. Granted, Google is just getting started in this market so it’s fair that they aren’t launching with support for hundreds of products and services.
Google just needs to be dedicated to the platform and it will easily be able to compete with the likes of Amazon Alexa. This is why it’s such good news to hear that Google Assistant has gained support for IFTTT this week. Before Google Home has even been launched, it is able to connect with 258 different IFTTT channels. So, on the Pixel and Pixel XL, you can already do things like send a tweet by voice, send a note on Slack, add a new Google contact, add a Todoist task and so much more.
Be sure to check out the Google Assistant IFTTT channel to see all of the actions that are available.